The Seven Types of Story

Christopher Booker wrote a book entitled, The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories in 2004. Here are his seven plot concepts.

Overcoming the Monster

The protagonist sets out to defeat something that threatens him/her or a group they belong to.

Rags to Riches

A protagonist is in some way misfortunte, usually financially. Throughout the story, he/she acquires things such as power, wealth or a love interest.

The Quest

The protagonist sets out to acquire an object or get to a location, facing many obstacles and temptations along the way.

Voyage and Return

The protagonist goes to a strange land and, after overcoming the threats it poses to him or her, returns with experience.

Comedy

A humorous character faces conflict that becomes more and more confusing, but is at last made plain in a single clarifying event.

Tragedy

The protagonist is a hero who makes a mistake that brings about his/her downfall, evoking sympathy.

Rebirth

An important event forces the main character to change his/her ways, often making him/her a better person.

I’ve also collected a few simple story ideas for this Summer that follow these plot frameworks.

  1. A pilot from Denmark is delighted when he gets the chance to take part in the final of Bake Off. However, his chances are scuppered by an angry tiger. Despite everything, the pilot wins the competition and becomes a global celebrity..
  2. An author from Liverpool is delighted when she gets the chance to take part in the final of a talent show. However, her chances are scuppered when her car breaks down on the way to the competition. After the drama, the author realizes there is more to life than winning a talent show and goes on a picnic with her mother instead..
  3. Charlie is a Jedi from England who falls in love with his golf caddy. The two are separated when the golf caddy catches the flu and has to stay in hospital where she makes new friends. However, Charlie manages to rescue the situation by hacking into his email.
  4. In a world where apes have infiltrated the government, one carpenter has no choice but to protect mankind using the best golf club in the word. After a long and drawn out battle, the carpenter saves the day.
  5. Stafford is a wizard from Japan who falls in love with his best friend. The two are separated when the best friend goes away to war. However, Stafford manages to rescue the situation by slaying a dragon.
  6. When a cowboy from Canada learns the secret to world peace, not everybody is supportive. However, his fortunes improve when his arch enemy gets him a gig at a local theatre. In the end, the cowboy becomes a better person and is admired by all.
  7. In a world where monkeys are warriors, one acrobat has no choice but to leave Facebook using just her mind. Finally, the acrobat has a meaningful chat with the monkeys and they come to an amicable agreement.
  8. In a world where apes have infiltrated the government, one fairy has no choice but to find another planet to colonize by becoming a world leader. Eventually, the fairy forms an army and teaches the apes a little respect.
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