Posted in writing

Plot: Dishonored Beloved

A dishonored beloved plot can bring a whole new layer of complexity and twists to the story when employed. If you’d like, you can check out all of the plot scenarios here.

  • A wrongdoing is discovered against a loved one.

The roles for the dishonored beloved plot are extremely variable. You must have someone who commits the wrongdoing, you must have the loved one and you must have someone who discovers that wrongdoing. However, there is nothing to say that you can’t pile these roles on top of one another. For instance, having the loved one discover that their spouse has been having an affair (classic adultery). Alternately, have the wrongdoer find out that the person they’ve committed a crime against is in fact someone they care about. There are numerous ways to twist this plot.

Because of it’s great flexibility, as a main plot it works well in both character and plot driven stories. How characters act and react each to each part of the wrongdoing, discovery and resolution gives you ample room for character arcs. Making that wrongdoing a part of a larger crime plays well with plot-driven stories where the end goal is the gain or downfall of a group of people.


Posted in writing

Plot: Sacrifice

Sacrifice as a plot opens up space for a lot of internal conflict and character motivation. If you’d like to check out some other plot scenarios, you can do so here.

  • An object or person is given up to accomplish a goal or an ideal.

Looking at it initially, you might feel limited in the amount of roles you have to play with, but don’t be fooled. Not only do you have the person committing the sacrifice, the one attempting to stop said sacrifice, but you also have the one who takes the person or thing sacrificed. In some instances, the person who is given up is also the one committing the sacrifice, making this a case of self-sacrifice. In these cases, those who are left to complete that goal or ideal also fill out your roles.

Conflict can actually occur as both internal and external forms with a sacrifice plot. Depending on what is being given up and the cost of doing so, whoever commits to it may have reservations about doing so, even in the name of reaching their goal. As an external conflict, another party may want to prevent the sacrifice for varying reasons, either because they are the one to be sacrificed, or because they don’t feel it’s the best solution.

As a main plot, the goal itself needs to be relatively big and have an impact on everyone involved, with the sacrifice itself becoming the final solution and potentially your climax (this obviously may not hold true based on your story’s events and how exactly they take place). As a minor plot, the conflict over whether or not to make that sacrifice may work better in center stage.

Posted in Stories, writing

Plot: Obtainment

Obtainment as a plot scenario is related to daring enterprise, however unlike daring enterprise where the main focus is retrieval of that object, obtainment focuses heavily on why each character wants this particular item. You can check out all of the plot scenarios here.

  • A mediator negotiates between a solicitor and an adversary over a desired object.

Notice here that there are four major roles to fill in. Also note that depending on how you play out your obtainment plot, you may not need a mediator at all. Similarly, the object in question might not be an object at all, but rather the same goal–say a job position, or the love of a particular person. The trick with that is only one person can ultimately have that desired thing.

Regardless of whether it’s a main or minor plot, obtainment may not play particularly well with McGuffin-styled items. That is, the reason why this particular thing is so important and or desirable holds a lot of support, so simply having an item there to fill in the gap may not work. In this case, you might have some room to work symbolism into your plot.

Posted in Stories, writing

Plot: Abduction

One plot scenario that definitely relies on character motivations is the abduction plot. Whether a main plot or a minor plot, motivations here are key to making this particular scenario work smoothly. You can find some of the other plot scenarios here.

  • A captor takes the abductee away from safety.

An interesting thing to note about the roles here: your ‘safety’ may be a person, place or thing. In some cases it might take the form of someone trying to rescue the abductee. It could also be a place, such as the location your abductee was taken from, or the location your abductee is trying to get in order to get help from. As a thing, it also might be what allows your abductee to finally break free or find themselves help. There are of course, choices of where to place your point of view character. Are they the abductee, seeking to escape? Or do they need to rescue the abducted? Perhaps they’re they captor themselves, with their own very good reasons for doing what they do.

As I mentioned, regardless of major or minor plot, the motivations here are key. What reason does your captor have for taking this person specifically? What makes the abductee so important that any person filling in the role of rescuer is willing to go the lengths they need to to get the abductee back? And, what reasons does your abductee have for fighting your captor? What reasons might they have for aiding them?

Posted in Stories, writing

Plot: Daring Enterprise

The daring enterprise plot is a classic and a common staple of many adventure stories and even a few fantasy epics as well. While versatile in genres, it is also well-suited to plot-driven stories. You can check out some of the other plot scenarios here.

  • A leader overpowers an adversary in order to take an object.

Although there’s not a lot of space for characters, their roles within this plot are fairly clear cut which makes it ideal for plot-driven stories. As a leader the character’s goal is to get a hold of the object. As an adversary, the goal is to protect the object and keep it out of the other’s hands.

As a main plot, this particular scenario focuses heavily on the act of overpowering and the steps taken to get that object. In this case, the object might be little more than a McGuffin used to help drive conflict.

When used as a minor plot however, it can take a back seat to character development and becomes more of a background objective for a character in their arc. This forces the object to have a very good reason for being desirable, and often forces your characters to have a deeper motivation for getting into a conflict with their adversary.