20 Master Plots: And How to Build Them

Front Cover
Writer's Digest Books, 2003 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 240 pages
2 Reviews
Give your story a solid foundation - a plot that engages readers from start to finish!

&break;&break;The best stories linger in the hearts and minds of readers for decades. These tales gain their power through plots that connect with the audience on both an emotional and intellectual level.

&break;&break;Inside, Ronald B. Tobias details these 20 time-tested plots. Each is discussed and analyzed, illustrating how a successful plot integrates all the elements of a story. Tobias then shows you how to use these plots effectively in your own work.

&break;&break;Tobias then goes to the next level, showing you how to choose and develop plot in fiction. He shows you how to craft plot for any subject matter, so that you develop your work evenly and effectively. As a result, your fiction will be more cohesive and convincing, making your story unforgettable for readers everywhere.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Story is a chronicle of events. Plot is why; it leads to expectations. The process may ultimately exceed these guidelines, but the writer will have a way to navigate in the interim. There are twenty-six chapters. Each begins with a quote by a famous writer. Examples are given from literature. The ones defining a plot type end with a checklist. Plots have two groups of types, action or character, body or mind. Comedy is the latter. Plot types may be combined. The twenty master plots are quest, adventure, pursuit, rescue, escape, revenge, the riddle, rivalry, underdog, temptation, metamorphosis, transformation, maturation, love, forbidden love, sacrifice, discovery, wretched excess, ascension and descension. Plot is a force of cohesion, and a container. The lowest common denominators are tension, opposition, increasing stakes, change is the point, significant events, casual appearance, reason for rules, and central actor climax, Unified action involves the beginning, middle and end. The beginning establishes cause, intent and motivation. The middle has effect, rising action, reversals and recognition. The end has climax, falling action and denouement.  

Selected pages

Contents

INVISIBLE FICTION
1
THE LOWEST COMMON PLOT DENOMINATORS
18
THE STRONG FORCE
31
DEEP STRUCTURE
38
TRIANGLES
49
TWENTY MASTER PLOTS PROLOGUE
56
MASTER PLOT 1 QUEST
59
MASTER PLOT 2 ADVENTURE
71
MASTER PLOT 9 UNDERDOG
131
MASTER PLOT 10 TEMPTATION
138
MASTER PLOT 11 METAMORPHOSIS
146
MASTER PLOT 12 TRANSFORMATION
153
MASTER PLOT 13 MATURATION
160
MASTER PLOT 14 LOVE
168
MASTER PLOT15 FORBIDDEN LOVE
182
MASTER PLOT 16 SACRIFICE
191

MASTER PLOT 3 PURSUIT
79
MASTER PLOT 4 RESCUE
86
MASTER PLOT 5 ESCAPE
93
MASTER PLOT 6 REVENGE
99
MASTER PLOT 7 THE RIDDLE
111
MASTER PLOT 8 RIVALRY
124
MASTER PLOT 17 DISCOVERY
201
MMASTER PLOT 18 WRETCHED EXCESS
209
MASTER PLOTS 1920 ASCENSION DESCENSION
218
PARTING SHOTS
228
Index
233
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2003)

Ronald B. Tobias has spent his career as a writer moving from genre to genre, first as a short story writer, then as an author of fiction and nonfiction books and finally as a writer and producer of documentaries for public television. He is currently a professor in the Department of Media and Theatre Arts at Montana State University and the author of The Insider's Guide to Writing for Screen and Television. He lives in Bozeman, Montana.

Bibliographic information