- bleeding off their restlessness and resentment so they don't kill themselves, rape people or otherwise become inconvenient to the rest of us;
- contributing to art and culture (useless pursuits that keep the rich in their belief that they are intrinsically better people) when the writer hits occasional literary gold.
This is story zero. This is everyone's story.
This pretty much keeps the masses pacified and intellectuals entertained, so no one gets any funny ideas about upsetting the status quo, which frankly, needs a little tipping over.
Speaking as a cynic, that's the first story. Speaking as a writer, thinking like this makes me sick to my stomach. Time for my medication.
The Ninth (Or Zeroth) Original Story
Click here to get to the other eight. The gist of that article being, that every Hollywood movie on God's green earth is based off of at least one of them. I submit there is a ninth story, or story meme, that informs the rest of them. I'm loosely calling it the Fall.
In every story is a status quo and then something happens to upset it. Sometimes that something is a villain, like Brainiac trying yet again to put Metropolis in a bottle: Superman must fight him to prevent Metropolitans from being very inconvenienced by the villain's shrink ray. Sometimes it's a natural disaster-- think Titanic. Regardless of what that something is, the characters have to fight it to get their status quo-- or a semblance of it-- back. They've fallen out of safety, contentment, out of Paradise and they have to struggle to return to it.