There are only two plots, or: How to have an existential crisis in writing - Page 7


Page 7 of 7 FirstFirst 1234567
Results 61 to 70 of 70

Thread: There are only two plots, or: How to have an existential crisis in writing

  1. #61
    The Martian. He doesn't go on a journey, he gets left behind on Mars.
    The journey doesn't have to be literal. The character here made a journey of self growth and awareness. He had to learn to trust himself, to remain mentally fit, to challenge the circumstances of being alone on a hostile world, with little to sustain him, and to find a way to return to Earth.

  2. #62
    Bayview answered this correctly on Page 1, but it was two and a half years ago, and it shouldn't be forgotten just from the standpoint of intervening time and pages. As I read the page, I found that Bayview expressed the answer I was about to write. The OP's premise is correct, but the two "plots" are overly broad. Not only do I not see those definitions as helpful, but none other either. You find lists of "the seven basic plots", "the seventeen basic plots", and "the FIFTY-ONE basic plots". LOL

    It's a manifestation of humanity's innate need to categorize, which is sometimes helpful, sometimes vital, and sometimes utterly irrelevant.

    Are we really sitting down and looking at a list of plot types to decide what we're about to write? Well, maybe on a bad day when inspiration just isn't coming and we need an idea and we have no story in mind yet. I'm still working on a backlog of ideas, so I haven't gotten there yet. But I know that happens. If that happens to me, I'm not going to be deciding between "The hero takes a journey" or "A stranger comes to town". LOL I'm going to be heading straight for the list of 51, where there are options I can sink my teeth into.
    Last edited by vranger; May 21st, 2020 at 08:38 PM.

  3. #63
    I'm not going to be deciding between "The hero takes a journey" or "A stranger comes to town". LOL I'm going to be heading straight for the list of 51, where there are options I can sink my teeth into.
    I am reading an ancient book called "100 Best Spy stories". There are a couple set in the twenties, most are WWl or earlier, and there is some terrible writing by present day standards, but the ideas! I am sure I shall be writing a few stories that have their origins there, but not in a way that anyone would ever recognise.
    Visit my website to read and connect to my 'soundcloud', where you can listen to stories songs and more
    Hidden Content

    A thread of links useful to writers wishing to learn
    Piglet's picks. Hidden Content

  4. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by Olly Buckle View Post
    I am reading an ancient book called "100 Best Spy stories". There are a couple set in the twenties, most are WWl or earlier, and there is some terrible writing by present day standards, but the ideas! I am sure I shall be writing a few stories that have their origins there, but not in a way that anyone would ever recognise.
    In my first novel, a stranger comes to town, and THEN the hero takes a journey. Both in the same book!

    How much trouble am I in?

  5. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by vranger View Post
    In my first novel, a stranger comes to town, and THEN the hero takes a journey. Both in the same book!

    How much trouble am I in?
    Depends, how much love interest ?
    Visit my website to read and connect to my 'soundcloud', where you can listen to stories songs and more
    Hidden Content

    A thread of links useful to writers wishing to learn
    Piglet's picks. Hidden Content

  6. #66
    Member Justin Attas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Remote- I live in a converted schoolbus!
    Posts
    56
    I would agree with Gardner on this, but would also like to point out that I think he's taking a giant cop-out. As many other commenters have mentioned, a "journey" can be extrapolated to mean any number of things. Physical. Emotional. Philosophical. The same is true for the terms "stranger" or "town". A stranger could be any manner of outsider or outcast. A "town" could actually be an entire country, or even a planet or dimension in scifi.

    Using such broad mechanisms to categorize a story is like saying "All stories are made up of the same three parts. Protagonist. Antagonist. Conflict." It's so incredibly broad that of course you could find a way it holds true in every single story. It shouldn't cause you existential dread
    Take your plotting skills to the next level with my intensive course! Hidden Content
    Get your writing analyzed by a published author, licensed teacher, and nationally certified English tutor Hidden Content
    Download my ebook, Strand: the Silver Radio Hidden Content
    Keep being awesome, and write on! Hidden Content

  7. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by Olly Buckle View Post
    Depends, how much love interest ?
    Very little. Here's the sex in the book.

    A girl who is assisting the "coming of age" hero performs an important task and falls from exhaustion. He catches her. Later, as he visits while she's recovering, she says, "We may have to try that again sometime when I'm not so tired."

    This completes the list of sex in the book.

  8. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by vranger View Post
    A girl who is assisting the "coming of age" hero performs an important task and falls from exhaustion. He catches her. Later, as he visits while she's recovering, she says, "We may have to try that again sometime when I'm not so tired."
    Of course you know your characters, but the addition of 'When I am not so tired.' on the end seems almost immodest. In a book where this is the only sex reference the impact is , of course, somewhat disproportionate. It might, therefore, be worth considering omitting this. However, having done this the indefinite quality of 'we may have to' making it sound like something to be avoided, and 'sometime', so well known in the well known phrase 'Sometime never'. If you lose them though it leaves you with, 'We have to try that again'. and 'try' also is vague. We could say 'do', but I am almost certain this is not what you want to imply. So much is now missing 'That' has become indefinite. Your audience is going to be thinking 'But they haven't done 'that' for the first time.' It is not a good idea to confuse your readers. I suggest you leave this sordid sex business to other less able writers who need it's questionable attraction to spice up their otherwise intellectually dead work, and maintain the special quality of the rest of the book.

    Lol
    Visit my website to read and connect to my 'soundcloud', where you can listen to stories songs and more
    Hidden Content

    A thread of links useful to writers wishing to learn
    Piglet's picks. Hidden Content

  9. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by vranger View Post
    Very little. Here's the sex in the book.

    A girl who is assisting the "coming of age" hero performs an important task and falls from exhaustion. He catches her. Later, as he visits while she's recovering, she says, "We may have to try that again sometime when I'm not so tired."
    Jeeez! pass the bromide.

    Falls from where, a chandelier?..no don't tell me.

    Assisting? Performs an important task...?

    Nurse, oxygen quick before I turn the page.

  10. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by Olly Buckle View Post
    Of course you know your characters, but the addition of 'When I am not so tired.' on the end seems almost immodest. In a book where this is the only sex reference the impact is , of course, somewhat disproportionate. It might, therefore, be worth considering omitting this. However, having done this the indefinite quality of 'we may have to' making it sound like something to be avoided, and 'sometime', so well known in the well known phrase 'Sometime never'. If you lose them though it leaves you with, 'We have to try that again'. and 'try' also is vague. We could say 'do', but I am almost certain this is not what you want to imply. So much is now missing 'That' has become indefinite. Your audience is going to be thinking 'But they haven't done 'that' for the first time.' It is not a good idea to confuse your readers. I suggest you leave this sordid sex business to other less able writers who need it's questionable attraction to spice up their otherwise intellectually dead work, and maintain the special quality of the rest of the book.

    Lol
    Not only that. It's the last line of the book.

    It makes more sense in the context of the other 100K odd words.

    (I did misquote myself. She actually says 'exhausted'. I pride myself on being a wordsmith. LOL)

    PS. That post was excellent. I laughed. I read it to my wife, and she didn't stop laughing. You made our day.
    Last edited by vranger; May 23rd, 2020 at 09:05 AM.

Page 7 of 7 FirstFirst 1234567

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
This website uses cookies
We use cookies to store session information to facilitate remembering your login information, to allow you to save website preferences, to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.