Climbing Freytag's Pyramid // How to Use Dramatic Structure in Storytelling

Storytelling is such a ubiquitous word these days, especially in marketing, that it’s starting to become a word without any real meaning. But as a creative writing major, stories still have a special place in my heart. They help me connect with others, to empathize with people around me, to see the world from a different point of view. Stories let me live in a world that’s not my own. And that’s what we want as marketers, isn’t it? We want our audience to see a world in which our product makes their lives better, to feel like they connect with the people in the story, whether real or imaginary. 

That’s where Freytag comes in.

In the 1860s, Gustav Freytag analyzed Greek and Shakespearean plays and developed a structure now known as Freytag’s Pyramid. The pyramid says that there are five main components of a play, or any other narrative: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. I lived and died by Freytag’s Pyramid in college. Did my stories buy cheap xanax online have too much exposition, was the climax compelling enough?

How are your stories?

These days, audiences are inundated with messages across various media, making them very selective in what they’re willing to read or watch. Studies show that attention spans are getting shorter and shorter, but that audiences are also likely to watch long-form ads or read long articles they perceive have relevance for them. And that means creating great stories to captivate your audience.

Even if you couldn’t put it into words, it’s likely that you instinctively knew the structure of a good story. That means you, and your audience, can climb Freytag’s Pyramid without even knowing it. So it’s important to keep the five-piece structure in mind when developing stories, whether written or visual. It helps guide the audience through your content, gives them expectations that you can then manipulate for various effects, like surprise or humor.

We crave stories because we are stories. Do you need help telling yours?



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