Sunday, December 30, 2007

Storytelling and the Rule of Three

Brian Clark asks in his blog article:

Have you ever wondered:

* What the three little pigs, the three blind mice, Goldilocks and the three bears, the Three Musketeers, the three wise men and the Three Stooges have in common?

* Why the three-act structure is the dominant approach to screenwriting in Hollywood?

* Why three bullet points are more effective than two or four?

The Rule of Three works in stories due to the presence of the concise, memorable patterns…. But even if that wasn’t the case, the number three has been used so widely throughout some of the most memorable works from our childhood, it’s likely that we are preconditioned to respond favorably to elements grouped in threes.

You see the Rule of Three used all the time across diverse areas of life. Why?
Because information presented in groups of three sticks in our heads better than other clusters of items. For example:

“Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”

“Government of the people, by the people, for the people”

“Friends, Romans, Countrymen”

Check out the rest of this interesting article and all the other useful tips on Brian Clark’s blog site, Copyblogger.

Dr. Geoff Pound

Image: The Three Amigos