REBLOG: Seven basic story plots

Here is a great little summary of basic story plots. I don’t have much to add other than to say it is important to realize that almost all stories that are complete follow one of these. If your story doesn’t, you might want to double check that its a full and complete tale with a crisis and a resolution.

That, of course, is not to say that all stories are the same. Fiction is largely derivative; it cannot help but be so. We come to writing with strong influence from the stories and writing we like. We emulate what we like, whether we intend it or not. Even so, creativity can take us beyond rote repetition. That is our job as storytellers, to re-envision these classic tales in new ways.

MARK DOWLING

From Christopher Booker’s book “Seven Basic Plots” – his premise is that seven archetypal themes recur in every kind of storytelling.

Relevant for blog posts that start with a story. Pick one of these and run with it. Read Alex Linberger in this post. This is where I heard it first.

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5 thoughts on “REBLOG: Seven basic story plots

  1. David K

    A good reminder about the (ultimate) importance of plotting. But I’m not one to pay too much attention to them initially, preferring to hone my plots over subsequent redrafts instead. Also, an important point about borrowing from sources, many great writers (Shakespeare, T.S. Eliot come to mind) borrowed extensively and have been borrowed from in turn. The important thing, I suppose, is not what influences us but that we write with our own authentic voice and style.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s less about preemptively plotting along one of these courses than it is actively trying NOT to follow one, which will certainly find you will an overly constructed piece of work. I think there are folks who try so hard to be original that the work ceases being entertaining or even good.

      Liked by 1 person

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