An academic study in 2016 used computers to assess 1737 fictional works and concluded that they all fell into one of six emotional arcs. These were:
Rags to riches (rise)
Tragedy or riches to rags (fall).
Man in a hole (fall-rise)
Of these Cinderella, Oedipus and the Man in a hole were the most popular.
When I first read this, I was dubious about its accuracy and doubted that it applied to my own fiction writing. Then I reviewed my work, unpublished and published, and realised that it did. Every story is about conflict which invariably is generated by a character dealing with a rise or a fall. Most of mine are in the Oedipus category. How about yours?
Paul Williams is a writer of fiction and non-fiction best known for his Jack the Ripper Suspects: The Definitive Guide and Encyclopedia.