Transformational Narrative:
Story Circle
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STORY CIRCLE

If Joseph Campbell’s 17 Stages of the Monolyth story structure is too complicated for screenwriters, Dan Harmon (creator and writer behind Community and Rick and Morty) and his Circle Theory of Story is an easier option that you can apply to the development of your stories and characters.
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If Joseph Campbell’s 17 Stages of the Monolyth story structure is too complicated for screenwriters, Dan Harmon (creator and writer behind Community and Rick and Morty) and his Circle Theory of Story is an easier option that you can apply to the development of your stories and characters.
Story structure can be a difficult beast to tame, namely because it's hard to know which structure is "best." In one ear, screenwriting gurus are telling you to follow one of a million storytelling formulas and in the other ear, naysayers are telling you to ditch formulas all together and ride your story bareback through the wilderness of unblemished narrative freedom.
There's perhaps no better example of this system in action than the sci-fi comedy series, Rick and Morty, which Harmon co-created. In little over 30 episodes, Rick and Morty has gained one of the most devoted fan-bases of any animated show since Matt Groening’s Futurama. Known for its fast-paced, pop-culture-inflected humor, affection for science fiction tropes (and its not-so-passing resemblance to characters from Back to the Future) the show has also been praised for its dense storytelling, often fitting in a feature film’s worth of plot within a 21-minute runtime.
Storytelling comes naturally to humans, but since we live in an unnatural world, we sometimes need a little help doing what we'd naturally do.

Draw a circle and divide it in half vertically.

Divide the circle again horizontally.

Starting from the 12 o clock position and going clockwise, number the 4 points where the lines cross the circle: 1, 3, 5 and 7.

Number the quarter-sections themselves 2, 4, 6 and 8.
The circles are everywhere, if you know to look for them. They’re on the whiteboards around Dan Harmon’s office, on sheets tacked to his walls, on a notepad on the floor of his car. Each one is hand-drawn and divided into quadrants with scribbled notes and numbers sprouting along the edges. They look like little targets.
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