I’d have found a bit more value in Meander, Spiral, Explode had its author also detected variant patterns in some rather more time-tested fiction (just because a novel is old doesn’t mean it must needs have been written in Aristotelian fashion), but she limited her observations to authors of recent works unknown to me. I had suspected the existence of different story structures, and will be looking for the patterns from nature in everything new I read, as well as in re-reads of old favorites.
As the author of the book maintains, it’s not necessary for every story to take the simple, caret-shaped, Aristotelian dramatic pattern (which Aristotle used to describe stage plays, anyway). It’s probably okay for short fiction, but it may be a bad idea for novelists to attempt to force their stories into the classic arc shape – especially if they’re organic writers. In fact, if they write Literary Fiction (especially the kind with a cast of thousands), they would probably end up with this kind of pattern, which was an astronomical map based on how the night sky seems to behave, to the naked eye: