Book by Christopher Booker – all plots in fiction boil down to 7 basic plots and revolve around the Hero/Heroine

  • Meta-Plot:
    • Anticipation Stage: hero is called to adventure to come
    • Dream Stage: adventure begins, some success, illusion of invincibility
    • Frustration Stage: confrontation with enemy, confidence is lost
    • Nightmare Stage: climax where hope is apparently lost
    • Resolution: hero overcomes against the odds

Seven Basic Plots:

  1. Overcoming the Monster: Hero sets out to defeat antagonistic (evil) force.
    • SW – A New Hope / James Bond / Harry Potter / Shrek
  2. Rags to Riches: Poor Hero acquires wealth/power/a mate – loses it all and has to gain it back
    • Cinderella / Aladdin / Jane Eyre
  3. The Quest: Hero and companions set to acquire object or get to location facing obstacles/temptations
    • Illiad / LOTR / HP:Deathly Hallows / Indiana Jones
  4. Voyage & Return: Hero goes to strange land, overcomes threats, returns with experience
    • Alice in Wonderland / Goldilocks / Hobbit / Apollo 13 / Findin Nemo / Spirited Away
  5. Comedy: light character with happy ending, or dramatic work  where overcoming adversities lead to happy ending. More than humour, conflict is complicated but resolves through a simple event.
    • Midsummer Night’s Dream / Bridget Jones / Music & Lyrics / Most Romances
  6. Tragedy: Hero with major flaw or mistake leads to their undoing. Evokes pity and shows fall of their ‘good’ character
    • Macbeth / Dorian Gray / Romeo & Juliet / Hamlet
  7. Rebirth: Important event forces hero to change their ways, often improving
    • Beauty & Beast / Christmas Carol / Despicable Me / The Grinch



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