Sitting in direct opposition to the recovery of a loved one, the loss of a beloved is a situation that relies heavily on emotions and motivations from your characters. You can check out the full list of plot scenarios here.
- The witness sees the death of a kinsman.
Most often there is an executioner of some form to kill our kinsman, but in some cases death might occur from circumstances your witness predicted. The roles here are fairly straight-forward, even with the addition or exclusion of the executioner.
As straightforward as the roles are, this one still deals heavily with emotions, specifically those experienced during grief. Although the death itself may be a plot point, the reaction (or reactions) it causes are going to be heavily character motivated, regardless of whether it is a main plot or a minor one.
The recovery of a loved one scenario provides a goal right from the outset, which can make it useful for plot-driven stories. You can check out the other plot scenarios here.
- A seeker attempts to find the lost one.
When thinking about roles and how your characters fill them, this breaks down pretty easily. You need the obvious two, your seeker, and the one lost. However, often the reasons why that one is lost creates the conflict. It could be that they are being held captive (tying in nicely with abduction plots), thus providing you with an antagonist. Alternately however, you may only have those two roles: the seeker and the lost one to fill as the seeker tries to understand what happened to the lost one.
Regardless of main or minor plot, a huge amount of the focus falls on what is being done in an attempt to find that lost one. This can make it massively useful for plot driven scenarios, but character motivation shouldn’t be overlooked. Think about why your seeker needs to find this lost one so much, and why this lost one might want or need to stay hidden.
Repentance is a highly character-based scenario, but that doesn’t automatically make it character-driven. If you’d like to check out the other plot scenarios, they can be found here.
- The guilty person seeks forgiveness for their crime or mistake.
When thinking of how roles are filled, also remember that sometimes you have someone who the guilty part is seeking forgiveness from specifically, which adds in a fourth role into this scenario. That fourth role can sometimes play an antagonistic role, providing obstacles your guilty person must overcome, or a sort of end-goal in which they have to prove their remorse one final time.
Interestingly, both the forgiveness they seek and the crime or mistake they initially made can also act as obstacles. When seeking forgiveness, don’t forget about self-forgiveness.
Although this may not seem like it, as a main plot it may be heavily plot driven, based more on the goals or steps the guilty person takes to gain that forgiveness. There will still need to be character arcs for certain, but the moments in which you build a character can be slightly smaller than the events used to try and gain forgiveness.
As a minor plot, repentance mixes well with plots such as revenge, faulty judgement and imprudence. This gives it more space to be character-driven and focused on the individual arcs of each character.
In many ways, a faulty judgement scenario is very much like mistaken jealousy. However, in the case of faulty judgement the focus may be on the actions that need judging, rather than the outcome. You can check out the other plot scenarios here.
- A judge passes blame onto the victim instead of the guilty as a result of error or interference.
This is another plot scenario that has a lot of roles to fill. However, in the case of faulty judgement, the guilty party might also be the cause of that interference or error. In some cases, you may want to include a fourth person as a source of that interference or error to give yourself some room for character motivation and growth.
Because the act of passing that faulty judgement can easily become your climax or resolution this fits in as a main plot nicely. It’s vital that the reasoning behind the judgement is clear, meaning the act itself can easily become either your climax or your resolution.
The caveat to that being that faulty judgement can also be used as a springboard to help launch other plots–you’ve already seen mistaken jealousy as one of them, but think about scenarios like revenge, petitioning, imprudence, deliverance and repentance. In this case, the act itself works nicely as an inciting incident and as a minor plot.
Mistaken jealousy takes a little bit to understand as a plot, but becomes a wonderful scenario for character and plot-driven stories once you do. You can check out the other plot scenarios here.
- A jealous person covets a possession belonging to an accomplice due to the interference of an adversary or mistake.
Role-wise this is a busy and twisted scenario already. Your key elements here are your jealous person, your possession and your adversary or mistake. Some variants of this scenario don’t need a supposed accomplice, depending on what exactly your jealous person is jealous of. The basic conflict here arises however because of that adversary or mistake–remember that in this situation the jealousy is raised in falsehood and erroneous judgement.
Because of the dual conflicts going on here, this is an excellent choice for a main plot. Not only do you have the jealous person’s attempts to gain their coveted possession, but you also have the adversary’s interference and attempts to keep themselves hidden from the accomplice. This gives you plenty of space for character development and the development of the relationship between characters. Alternately, the motivation of jealousy can make this useful for a plot-driven story.
As a minor plot, it may be helpful to keep this particular scenario as simple as possible. Rather than trying to work a double conflict into one subplot, the mistake of judgement or adversary’s interference may need to be as clear as possible. This makes it less appealing as a plot-driven scenario and more inclined towards a character-driven arc.