And we have the word of researchers at MIT to prove it. They studied 1,700 stories and plotted the "emotional arc" of each one.
They fed those into a computer and discovered:
"The six basic emotional arcs are these:
A steady, ongoing rise in emotional valence, as in a rags-to-riches story such as Alice’s Adventures Underground by Lewis Carroll. A steady ongoing fall in emotional valence, as in a tragedy such as Romeo and Juliet. A fall then a rise, such as the man-in-a-hole story, discussed by Vonnegut. A rise then a fall, such as the Greek myth of Icarus. Rise-fall-rise, such as Cinderella. Fall-rise-fall, such as Oedipus."
You can find out which of the six attracted the most readers in the news release from MIT issued two weeks ago.
Then just write that Great American Novel, and please credit