After watching Kurt Vonnegut discuss the shape of stories, we can now apply this method to a story we have already seen thus far: The Twilight Zone episode, “Living Doll”. For reference, the episode is embedded below.


For this analysis, we will focus on Christie, the little girl in the story.  Her story is similar to the first curve that Vonnegut drew.  She has a fairly good life, until her mother remarries, and her new step-father doesn’t really love her.  This causes the dip in the curve, resulting in the hard-times that the character faces.  She suffers through these hard-times for only a short time longer, until Talky Tina comes to the rescue and kills the evil step-father, hoping that Christie will once again be happy, causing an upward swing in the curve.

Although horror stories do not usually have a story line that fits one of the three curves drawn by Vonnegut, if you analyze a piece and look for these curves, you will find it most likely in a supporting character, like Christie, as opposed to a main character, like Eric, or Talky Tina.