Thursday, January 14, 2010

David and Goliath as a girl story!! What?

First things first, Happy Birtday to Me and Bree. That's right its a big week for birthdays. Bree Despain is having a great giveaway contest on her blog for her birthday. Click here to read about it. For my birthday I'm dragging all my friends out to lunch, then to Bree's signing in West Jordan, and then to Brandon Sanderson's signing in Eagle Mountain. It was soo nice of them to arrange all these great events the day of my B-Day party!!!

So now on to David and Goliath and the alternate ending. Last week I met an amazing corporate communications guru named Bill Graham. He is a master storyteller and presenter. One of the great things I got out of his class was the concept of Story. How to use it more effectively in all the aspects of my life. He said that after 7,000 hours of directing daytime television and tens of thousands of hours of watching competitve shows along with his experience in theater and reading, he has decided that there are only 2 kinds of story. Are you ready for this? Can you lump all the stories in the world into two categories? Well, Bill thinks you can and this photo is a hint of the categories.

He calls them: "Boy Story" and "Girl Story"

"What does a boy story have to have in order to be finished?" he asked.
An enthusiastic CEO shouted out, "Someone has to win."

"Not that important."
Bill had us all scratching our heads. If winning isn't that important then what does the story need to be finished?

"Someone must LOSE," came the reply with in a sad tone.
In a Boy Story, according to Bill Graham, there must be a loser. The superbowl would not be the same game if it ended with a tie. In fact, if it is tied at the end of the regular time period then the game goes into "sudden death." Football is a 'boy' game.
DO NOT GET ME WRONG! You don't have to be a boy to like a boy story. Anyone can like seeing a satifying 'sudden death' ending.

So then what is a Girl Story?
Well, in this case he related the story to a romance novel. What makes someone/anyone read Pride and Prejudice over and over again?
The answer is simple...hopeful anticipation. The breathtaking hope that all will turn out blissfully and both of the characters you love will win in the end. (You could say that there are no losers in this least where the main characters are concerned. The Mr. Collinses and Aunt Catherines of the world can lose all they want as long as Darcy and Elizabeth both get to win.)

To illustrate the point we used the biblical tale of David and Goliath.
In the original version it is clearly a boy story. Goliath loses and we all learn that the 'bigger they are the harder they fall.' Little vulnerable David, downs the giant Philistine and cuts off his head and saves all of Israel. Yeah, boy story.

Now if it were a girl story...
David would march up to Goliath and throw his slingshot to the ground and shout, "Look, Goliath, we Israelites might be small, but we have a lot to offer and if you would just stop and use that large head for a minute you'd see that we can both benefit from an alliance rather than killing each other." After lengthy debate, David and Goliath would shake hands and a trade agreement would be forged in the middle of what was intended to be a battlefield. Everyone goes home happy and prosperous. Yeah that's David and Goliath the girl story.

I loved the examples and had a blast thinking of stories to switch into the other category. Anyone read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies? It occurred to me that it might very well be an attempt to make a girl story into a fun boy story by making someone lose.

So what are you writing? Is it a 'boy story' or a 'girl story'?


  1. I had to figure out how to make my MS a boy story--it wasn't too hard because the great elements are already there. I just have to strengthen the LOOSERS. :)

    I love this idea. I am a girl story type of person. In EVERYTHING I do. I hate conflict and shy away from it. :)

  2. This is an excellent post! Thank you for sharing that with us because now I'm thinking of all different ways to classify boy and girl stories.

  3. Thanks L.T. I have to say that my mind blew a little bit in the class he taught. I just latched on to this different perspective on story and loved it.