Much of what we know about stories is both anecdotal and subjective. We know there are good stories and there are bad stories, or at least we choose to qualify them as such, and we know that stories make us feel certain ways that non-storied types of discourse don’t. We know that stories are about things—usually people—usually in conflict with some kind of external force that poses some kind of actual or existential harm. But stories are complex, and what makes one thing a good story won’t make another a good story, and what makes a story “work” for one person might have a very different effect on someone else. What makes one effective might not make another effective. Context matters greatly in stories. And for better or for worse, this context includes just about everything — from what the reader or listener of that story has going on in their lives to how a phrase is turned or the exact order of words, the way they sound, or the accent of their speaker. This study introduces empirical understanding to map and classify narrative content schema, such that anyone who studies narratives can do so with clearer conviction in their results, and such that empirical-minded onlookers can better grasp the value of this work at scale.