Crafting a story is often more about intuition than critical thinking. You’ve read dozens upon dozens of fiction books, seen countless movies, and consumed a zillion episodes of TV. Some of you probably read comics and graphic novels, too. However you experience stories in your life, you’ve experienced a lot of them. And they’ve taught you things that linger in your subconscious, sneaking into your stories when you don’t even expect it.
It’s important to note the idea that there are no original plots any more, and haven’t been for a long time. There’s one belief that there are seven basic plots that simply get expanded on and reinterpreted, and odds are your story fits into one of these molds; or even if not perfectly, in the spirit of the mold.
Knowing what kind of story you have can make a real difference in crafting a tale your readers will immerse into.
These are the seven basic plots:
- Overcoming the Monster (James Bond, Star Wars)
- Rags to Riches (Cinderella, Great Expectations)
- The Quest (Wizard of Oz, Lord of the Rings)
- Voyage and Return (Chronicles of Narnia, Alice in Wonderland)
- Comedy (Much Ado About Nothing, Bridget Jones’ Diary)
- Tragedy (The Picture of Dorian Grey, Romeo and Juliet)
- Rebirth (A Christmas Carol, Despicable Me)
It’s not terribly important to keep those in mind when you’re writing, or even when you’re building your novel blue print. It’ll be important later, when you need to write plot synopsis’s and market your book (to readers, agents, or editors, depending what route you go).
Which kind of plot is your favorite? Can you name which one the last story you wrote fits?