Monday, September 15, 2008

The 37 Plots: Which One's Yours?

I came across this article ages ago, and sadly, have lost the source, but I thought it was interesting and wanted to share it with you:

What's your story about? A scholar in the early 1800's (Georges Polti apparently)
identified 36 basic plots, to which later scholars added one. The 37 are:

1. Pleading/prayer story
2. Deliverance
3. Crime pursued by vengeance
4. Vengeance
5. Pursuit story
6. Revolt (as in a tyrant versus good guys)
7. Disaster story
8. Falling prey to cruelty/misfortune
9. Daring enterprise
10. Abduction story
11. A puzzle story
12. A story about getting something
13. A story about hating someone you should like
14. Rivalry between friends or family
15. Murderous lovers/friends
16. Betrayal of love or friendship
17. Story about madness
18. Dangerous carelessness
19. Involuntary crimes of love or friendship
20. Stories about hurting someone who turned out to be important to you
21. Self sacrifice for an ideal
22. Self sacrifice for a person
23. Self sacrifice for a stranger
24. Self sacrifice for a loved object
25. Rivalry with a superior person
26. Crimes of love or friendship
27. Discovery of a crime done by a friend/lover
28. Obstacles of love or friendship
29. Sharing love/friendship with an enemy
30. Stories about ambition
31. Conflict with a God or mythical creature
32. A story about jealousy
33. A wrong decision
34. Regret or guilt
35. Recovery of a lost one
36. Loss of a person
37. Argument

I find it interesting that these are missing:

38. Crime followed by justice
39. Returning to faith
40. Discovering inner strength

I think I write more along those lines.

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