Monday, 6 May 2013

Plots v Genre

Sad to say, but a lot of books I read today are less than memorable. They are mostly well written but the storylines are not original. Now this isn't a criticism of the authors - at least, it is not intended as one - but more a comment on the impossibility, after four hundred odd years of printed fiction, of coming up with an original plot.
Someone once said there are only 7 original plots in the world.

  • Monster: The Grendel-Beowulf type of the hero defeating the monster and that plot has been around for centuries.
  • Then there's the rags to riches story, where the poor person makes good. Lots of books on that theme.
  • Then there's the Quest where the hero sets out to find something he desperately wants and overcomes many difficulties but finally achieves it.
  • The Voyage, easily confused with the Quest. This time the hero sets out in a magical land and returns wiser than when set out. 
  • Comedy - strangely, lots of romance stories fall into this category
  • Tragedy - best known example here is MacBeth. 
  • Re-birth - akin to tragedy but the hero realises error before it is too late
Click and see a much more detailed explanation.

At first glance it is quite hard to separate plots from genres - but here is a link to Genre.
(When did Blogger start highlighting only one letter of a link? So easy to miss.) so I shall read both and see if I can appreciate the difference.

Picture: Tim monitoring the bees among the heather...

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