The Power Of Three

If you wrote every day this month, you’ve written a decade of stories three times already. Three batches of 10 stories. Doesn’t that feel neat?

That’s because it conforms to the Rule of Three. For some reason humans love things that come in triplets.

This is a really powerful technique for making stories feeling balanced and deep.

The Prompt

Write a story using the rule of three

Tips

  • You’ve probably noticed that, in many stories, somebody tries and fails, tries and fails, tries and fails, three times. They might succeed on the third try. But they won’t succeed on the second try. That story structure has less resonance than if they fail twice and succeed n the third.

  • Character groupings often come in threes as well: you have the the hero, the smart one, and the funny one.

  • Even the fundamental story structure is made up of three parts: the beginning, the middle, and the end.

  • You can use send your character on a quest where they must complete three actions.

  • Perhaps your character gets three wishes, or three questions.

  • Maybe you can really play with this and drop the power of three in all over the place: every paragraph has three sentences; every sentence has a three syllable word in it. (I’m not sure that would make for great story but hey, we’re getting to the end of the month and were all getting a little punch-drunk!)

Leave a comment telling us how you use the power of three in your story today.

6 thoughts on “The Power Of Three”

  1. When I first read this prompt I thought, ‘no I’m not punch drunk.” Wrong. Because when I took the prompt to write a story, I could tell I was punch drunk, , but in a good way. I’ve definitely gotten to the “Anything goes- anything’s ok, just go with it” place. And the anything that came out was a fairy tale about three wishes. And it was fun. And I saw yet another benefit of doing this challenge. I can just write something new at the drop of a prompt. AND, not worry about it. YEY. and THANKS!

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