Concocted 146 years ago by a German philologist, Freytag’s pyramid was long held aloft as the one-size-fits-all narrative template, despite the fact that it describes the tidy Aristotelian side of storytelling (Ben-Hur) far better than its frayed quantum fringes (Memento).
Techniques like open-ended conclusion, audience interactivity, and
nonlinear chronology “were part of the avant-garde 30 or 40 years ago,”
says UCLA film school dean Robert Rosen, “but they’re taken for granted now.”
Fortunately for Western civilization, I’ve developed a new model. Allow me to introduce Brown’s Ziggurat (in 4-D!)tm. It accounts for all the time-shredding, symmetry-defying, viewer-inclusive wackiness of New Story. —Scott Brown, Wired