Some people say that there are only seven types of story in all the world. Visitors to Seven Stories are being invited to discover if this can really be true in our interactive exhibition.

Could there really be SEVEN STORIES in all the world? explores the idea that every story fits into one of seven basic story plots. Visitors of all ages will be taken on a journey through these plots, each brought to life with unique items from Seven Stories’ superb collection including the typewriter used by Enid Blyton to create her hugely popular adventures, original illustrations from The Queen's Knickers by Nicholas Allan as well as a notebook containing the first-ever draft of The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson.

Gillian Rennie, our Senior Curator explains: “Seven Stories was given its name for two reasons: the building is spread across seven floors and the theory that there are only seven types of stories in the world. Although there are definitely thousands of ways to tell these seven stories, the idea that all stories fall into one of these seven categories never fails to cause debate. The seven plots are: Quest; Overcoming the Monster; Rags to Riches; Voyage and Return; Tragedy; Rebirth and Comedy." 

Here are our Storycatchers to explain a little more about the seven plots:


Comedy explores the stories and things that make us laugh, the different things that people find funny and the joy of sharing a funny story with a friend.
Quest stories are about a hero heading out on journey to achieve something great. While they face dangers along the way they succeed in achieving their goal.
Voyage and Return
Voyage and Return stories involve characters journeying to strange lands where they overcome threats or learn important lessons before returning home and sharing their adventures with friends and family.
Rags to Riches
Rags to Riches stories have a poor and unhappy hero facing incredible challenges. They gain something, lose it, and then gain it back after overcoming great odds.
Overcoming The Monster
Overcoming the Monster explores the idea that everyone feels scared sometimes and that reading monster stories can help people overcome their fears, whatever they are.
In a Rebirth story the main character often behaves badly for a while as they adjust to change, but, by the end, they discover their true selves.
Tragedy examines what it’s like to feel regret, grief and loss. Sad things happen to everyone but stories about tragedy can help readers to realise that they’re not alone.