April 11, 2014

This Clickable Periodic Table of Tropes is the Holy Grail of Storytelling Resources

Attention everyone: We have found it. We have found the Holy Grail of online screenwriting/storytelling resources. If you're a screenwriter and/or a complete glutton for geeking out, you need to stop what you're doing immediately and check out Design Through Storytelling's Periodic Table of Storytelling, which -- is exactly what it sounds like -- a collection of story tropes organized by purpose and name, all of which are clickable links that take you to their own TV Tropes wiki page.

Sometimes you find things during your internet adventures that make your heart swell with appreciation and nerdy delight for the glory of cyberspace. This is by far one of the coolest things I've ever found -- and it doesn't hurt that its an incredibly helpful compendium of storytelling knowledge that is easier (and more fun) to navigate that flipping back to the table of contents in a screenwriting book.

Created by artist James Harris, The Periodic Table of Storytelling is designed just like the tabular arrangement of the chemical elements, except instead of being organized in groups of alkali metals and noble gases, you've got plot devices and archetypes. Harris included everything, like the different villain and hero archetypes, character modifiers, story structure, and setting/laws/plots. Every story element square is clickable and takes you to its wiki page on TV Tropes, which explains the trope in detail.

And if that's not enough, Harris includes 10 "simple story molecules" that can be formed when you combine certain story elements. So, if you're a science nerd (redundant) and a screenwriter, you'll just be in absolute heaven when you start playing around with this.

Periodic Table of Storytelling

You can check out the Periodic Table of Storytelling by clicking here. And, as an added bonus, you can order your own Table poster for about $30.

What do you think of the Table? Are there any tropes that you wish would've been included? Let us know in the comments below.

Link: The Periodic Table of Storytelling

Your Comment

14 Comments

Great find Renee. Thanks for sharing.

April 11, 2014

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David F

Incredible post!!!

April 11, 2014

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Yes. This is really valuable info. Almost too much info. Thanks so much Renee.

April 11, 2014

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Jonesy

SUPER COOL!

April 11, 2014

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AWESOME! This is going to make for some fun reading. Make sure you hit the link then select a tab and click it. Read a few. This should be mandatory reading for creative writing classes. Great find.

April 11, 2014

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Erik Stenbakken

An amazing resource, and should actually help budding writers understand the framework that they are working within.

April 11, 2014

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Al B.

And, if by "understanding", you mean "confused" ... then I concur. Really, do you teach Mendeleyev to the absolute beginners?

April 11, 2014

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DLD

wow

April 11, 2014

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nate

Dope!

April 12, 2014

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jaye

Fun resource but the real grail is your own brain. Everything is there even if you think it's out there the brain still is a great mirror to the world of character and story.

April 12, 2014

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JPS

Does anyone else remember the the story balls that the manatees would bring over to make a Family Guy episode from South Park's parody?

April 15, 2014

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n0npr0phet

It may help in story telling but it's not how "humans" and human imagination are created otherwise you would be a machine

April 16, 2014

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Heuvelink

This is a great resource for people like me who are writing challenged.

April 16, 2014

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Gary

I came across this a while back. So freaking great. I could (and did) lose so many hours just diving down the rabbit hole...

October 22, 2014

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Geoffrey Young Haney
writer & director
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