The Same Old Story

At Limebird Writers, LimebirdSter takes a look at basic plots and if any story is really new. She breaks plots down to seven basic types, like Quest, Rebirth, and Overcoming a Monster. You can fit almost every story into at least one of these categories.

I’ve heard plot broken down even further, into just two categories: A Stranger Comes to Town, or Someone Goes on a Journey. And that can get even further broken down, since A Stranger Comes to Town is just Someone Goes on a Journey told from another perspective. Obviously that doesn’t have to be even close to literal, but I like thinking about what kind of journeys various characters are on.

I don’t think it really matters if there’s any new story or not. It’s the telling that matters.

The Explosion of Plot

When I was in high school, I was really into writing stories without plot. Plot was old, I thought; existential angst was in! I wish I had seen this quote back then:

“Plot is people. Human emotions and desires founded on the realities of life, working at cross purposes, getting hotter and fiercer as they strike against each other until finally there’s an explosion—that’s Plot.”—Leigh Brackett

I love that description. Plot isn’t just action; it’s people getting in each other’s way and confronting each other.

Also, I hadn’t heard of Leigh Brackett before, but apparently she co-wrote The Empire Strikes Back. Awesomeness!

(via Writer’s Digest)