Exercise: Whyography Framework

The goal of this exercise is to start building your Whyography using Freytag’s Pyramid as your story arc. Have your Whyography Journey Map on hand for quick reference. Start by identifying key moments captured on your journey map that are most relevant to your story and note where you think they belong on the pyramid.

  1. EXPOSITION: This is the setup of the story. It provides background information about the main character, the story setting and any basic conflict. The exposition includes an inciting moment, which sets the rest of the story into motion.
  2. RISING ACTION: This is the series of events and actions that move the story toward the climax. During rising action, the basic conflict introduced during the exposition can be complicated by secondary conflicts.
  3. CLIMAX: This is the peak of the action and the turning point in the story. Everything changes after the climax. Things that may not have gone well start looking up. If the story is a tragedy, the opposite occurs after the climax; things that were going well begin to go wrong.
  4. FALLING ACTION: This is where story reverses, the conflict begins to unravel and the main character wins (or loses). The falling action sometimes contains a moment of suspense, which causes the final outcome to be in doubt.
  5. DÉNOUEMENT: French for conclusion, this is where the story ends and the main character is better off than she was at the beginning. (Or, if it’s a tragedy, it ends with sadness or loss.)

Download the Whyography Framework here.

“Whyography: Building a Brand Fueled by Purpose” is a guidebook to clarifying your WHY, developing your Whyography and confidently communicating it with the world. The book includes dozens of exercises and examples, plus the inspirational stories of more than 30 fierce founders who are leading with their WHY. Author Chris Olsen also shares outrageous moments from her 12-year radio career and how the moments that tested her values ultimately led to the launch of her own purpose-driven business.

‘Whyography: Building a Brand Fueled by Purpose’ Book by Chris Olsen