Pip Decks

Pride and Fall

From Episode 16 of the weekly Storyteller Tactics episodes

Each week we release a new story and two Storyteller Tactics cards from the deck, launching on Kickstarter later this year.

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What is the Pride and Fall tactic?

This is one of the oldest stories we know. Icarus, Frankenstein and Titanic all follow its arc.

Pride and Fall is the favourite story for our inner sceptic. Its moral is "this is too good to be true". And it's the story your clients or stakeholders might be hearing, even though you're telling them Rags to Riches. So, use this story arc to get ahead of their scepticism and win them round. 

Tip: this is a great story to tell about why your competitors failed! Try the Downfall tactic if you want to exploit their weaknesses.


How to use Pride and Fall

Map out the Pride and Fall arc and explain the four stages of the story. Use the example of the Icarus story. Ask your team to start adding details at each stage from your own project.

  1. Bad place: Icarus is imprisoned on an island. 

  2. Pride: Daedalus builds him some wings out of wax and feathers. Icarus can defy gravity and nature. "Don't fly too close to the sun," warns Daedalus.

  3. Fall: Icarus ignores the advice, flies too close to the sun and the wings melt. 

  4. Worse place: instead of imprisoned, the boy drowns in the sea.

  • What's the bad place in your story?
  • What is the example of pride, trying to fly too high?
  • What happens as a result?
  • How is this worse than where we started?

Examples of Pride and Fall stories include: man-made climate change, Jurassic Park and Google Glass. 


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