What are they?
A basic plot is a common plot structure that has been used countless times before. It may also be called a standard plot.
Although not universally accepted, a theory exists that says the majority of stories follow one of a limited number of plots.
|Overcoming the Monster||The protagonist faces an enemy or evil force that threatens the protagonist or his/her way of life.|
|Rags to Riches||A poor protagonist finds wealth, power and/or a partner. The protagonist risks them all due to poor decisions or bad luck, before growing as an individual and cementing the new rich lifestyle.|
|The Quest||The protagonist (possibly with companions) goes on a journey to reach a destination or acquire an object. As they travel they must pass through a series of challenges and obstacles.|
|Voyage and Return||The protagonist goes on a journey to a new location, experiences it, overcomes challenges, and then returns home with greater knowledge.|
|Comedy||A U-shaped catenary curve: a pleasant beginning, followed by some confusion or trouble, and then a happy ending (note: traditionally comedy does not need to be humorous).|
|Tragedy||The inverse of comedy, tragedy sees a good character’s story travel downwards until it reaches an unfortunate end. This downward journey is usually catalysed by one character flaw or piece of misfortune.|
|Rebirth||An event forces the protagonist to change their personality or habits, essentially recreating themselves. This change usually involves the character realising he/she has to become a better person.|