In his excellent book Stealing Fire from the Gods, author James Bonnet presents a cool study that maps out the “hidden truth” of story using a series of circular models. One of these models is something he’s dubbed the Storywheel, which shows all the cycles of change and growth we experience from birth to zenith and from zenith to death (or nadir). Bonnet suggests that every great story, ancient or modern, has a place on the wheel, and every type of story has something to do with guiding us to higher states of being.
Here’s one design that shows the different types of stories (myth, fairy tale, legend, classic, etc.), and where they fall in the counterclockwise cycle:
Here’s another design that lists examples of popular stories, and where they fall within those story types:
Great stuff. For more info, pick up the book. Highly recommended.