Class #2- Plot Templates

Posted 22 May, 2009 by DLWhite in Writers Write 0 Comments

Every story has a plot, and a  lot of stories use the same plot template. The difference is in the writer, and what template s/he chooses to use and what fresh ideas they bring to the plot of the story.

Today’s lesson was on plot templates, what’s required to have a good, effective plot and a vehicle to move the emotion of your story along: setup, struggle, climax, tension, conflict, sacrifice, purpose-filled action. Whether the story is an action adventure or a love story, these elements are important.

It strikes me that, when encountering a writer’s block, if I just haven’t developed my plot enough… what theme am I following, what am I trying to say, how am I trying to say it? What’s my plan for getting my character out of whatever mess I’ve got them in— all plot. Interesting.

Our assigment is to think of several movies and note what plot theme is used— so I’ll take a few of my favorites and plot them out:

The Shawshenk Redemption:  Change

Inmate Andy Dufresne has been sent to Shawshenk Prison for a crime he says he did not commit. While in Shawshenk, he makes a friend and some enemies and surreptitiously plans an escape.  Andy has to put away his ideas of getting out of Shawshenk based on his innocence. He becomes more of a crook than he ever was, in order to get out.

Backdraft: Mystery

Someone is setting fires, violent, overblown fires, and killing firefighters. Arson Investigator Brian McCafferty must find out who before more firefighters die. A subplot could be Change, because he has been in a long standing feud with his brother since the death of his father.

Beaches: Change

C.C. and Hilary are childhood friends that remain friends as they grow up. After they become adults, they find that they dont get along as well as they used to. They have to find a way to relearn each other and get along… what pushes this plot is that Hilary falls terminally ill and childless, selfish, brash, C.C. is going to have to take over as ‘mother’ to Hilary’s daughter.

By George, I think I’ve got it!

I took the quiz, got 100% *does the cabbage patch.


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