The Repetition of Story

Storytelling. It’s been the preferred tool for survival, entertainment, and business. Think of it. Grandma tell stories, teachers and preachers tell stories, and even car salesmen tell stories. It’s so captivating. We believe it. We own it. We pass it on. And what fascinates me the most is how it repeats itself. Hardly ever changing. Perhaps, clothed differently, but never failing to amuse us. If told right, of course.

It’s the same hero but with a thousand faces. I don’t know, it’s something about the brain and how it loves patterns, repetition, and three act structures (beginning, middle, end). Not only stories, but predominately in music as well.

“And just like living things, the strong survive and the weak die off. A strong story that contains solid survival information can survive for thousands of years.” — Brian McDonald

Typically, stories that do repeat themselves are the ones with characters in an adventure to survive, change, and with a goal in mind.  Which essentially that’s pretty much the story of our lives. Regardless of the genre. At the end of the day, stories are really telling us “that we are all the same,” (read The Golden Theme which explains this so well). And not in a new agey kind of way.  But more like, they are told and concluded for us to identify our life in them.

Chemically something is going on in the brain that makes us to attractive to story. If the story creates an effect, then it’s empathy kicking along with Cortisol and Oxytocin. All of this for the storytellers benefit.

  • Cortisol: One of your life-saving hormones. An immediate responder in times of danger and stress. It’s our body’s natural anti-inflammatory.
  • Oxytocin: The powerful hormone of love, bonding and connection.

I don’t know about you. But I’m convinced. Storytelling is such a powerful tool.

I encourage yo to see the videos below as to why repetition works in story (and music). Let it sell you on this theory — that everything is a remix.

https://vimeo.com/14912890

 

http://vimeo.com/kirbyferguson/everything-is-a-remix-part-2

 

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