The following is an article I read on wired.com. I wouldn't call it something really and concretely original but it is good to read something which is not in Syd Field's read to death lingo.
Brothers and sisters, we are gathered here today to mourn the death of Story. As you may have heard, it's kaput—or, at the very least, terminally ill, wracked by videogames, wikis, recaps, talkbacks, YouTube, ADD, and the rise of a multiplatform, multipolar, mashup-media culture. Hollywood, vendor of Story in its most denatured form, is most at risk: The film industry is slowly but steadily being forced to part with quaint artifacts like the "hero's journey," Joseph Campbell's so-called Monomyth. (Which is just so ... well ... mono.) Beginnings, middles, and ends are headed for the attic, next to the box marked VCR Rewinders/Beastmaster Franchise. And Tinseltown can kick this chestnut to the curb. You may remember it from high school English:
Concocted 146 years ago by a German philologist, Freytag's pyramid was long held aloft as the one-size-fits-all narrative template, despite the fact that it describes the tidy Aristotelian side of storytelling (Ben-Hur) far better than its frayed quantum fringes (Memento). Techniques like open-ended conclusion, audience interactivity, and nonlinear chronology "were part of the avant-garde 30 or 40 years ago," says UCLA film school dean Robert Rosen, "but they're taken for granted now."
Fortunately for Western civilization, I've developed a new model. Allow me to introduce Brown's Ziggurat (in 4-D!)tm. It accounts for all the time-shredding, symmetry-defying, viewer-inclusive wackiness of New Story. To stress-test this innovative system, we revisit one of our most basic, most fundamental narratives. A classic hero's journey. The ur-Story. I speak, obviously, of Die Hard.
In Freytag-ese, Die Hard unfolds thusly: NYC cop John McClane arrives in LA to reunite with his estranged wife, Holly (exposition), but terrorists raid her office tower, taking everyone hostage except McClane (inciting incident), who escapes unseen and starts picking off the goons (rising action). The terrorists finally realize they're holding McClane's wife and gain the upper hand (climax), but McClane frees the other hostages (falling action), goes toe-to-toe with the terrorist chieftain, and prevails (resolution). He celebrates by making out with his wife in the back of a limo. (Awww! And ... denouement!)
A little square, no? With the snazzy Brown Ziggurat, however, Die Hard will look like this: John McClane, NYC cop, arrives in LA to reconcile with his estranged wife—but we already know all about their failing marriage from the ARG we've been obsessed with for the six months leading up to the movie's release. (McClane's potemkin Tumblr blog was especially illuminating.) With exposition rendered obsolete, we open instead on a Sprite commercial, which transitions seamlessly into furious gunplay. We don't even see McClane in the flesh, but our handsets are buzzing with his real-time thumb-tweets: "in the air duct. smelz like dead trrist in here lol." The film then rewinds to McClane Googling "terrorists" to read up on his adversaries. We then flash-cut to the baddies' POV, which we're familiar with (and sympathetic to) thanks to the addictive Xbox hit Die Hard: Hard Out There for a Terrorist. This is all part of the Action-Happening Plateau, an intensifying mass of things and stuff leading up to the Mymaxtm.
The Mymax is not a lame old Freytag climax but a hot Escher mess of narrative possibilities suggested by you, the audience. With a mere click of your handset (and a charge of 99 cents), you furnish a Youclusiontm to your liking. This is how McClane somehow ends up defeating terrorists—and winning American Idol—with his ultrasonic melisma. McClane and Holly then celebrate by making a sex tape. (Awww!)
Voilà! The future of storytelling. Hollywood, I await my royalty checks. And you, dear reader, can thank me by providing a Youclusion for this column.