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Story Formulas, Plot, Pot, Etc.

6 months ago

Is anyone aware of different types of plot structures or story structures. I know there is the hero's journey format, and the whole inciting incident, rising action, climax, resolution, etc.  I think there is also the three act version, with the setup, confrontation, and resolution.

But it's probably possible to form a plot or a story with a different type of formula right? I think this can depend on what exactly the story is about. Like, the Lord of the Rings would have a vastly different structure than say, Fahrenheit 451 or 1984. 

I suppose there are more linear versions, or the circular type as the hero's journey seems to imply.

Anyone have their own little twists or story formulas they like to use? 

Or even their own formulas for weaving subplots into the larger plot and story. I find this topic very interesting. 

I think for my fantasy stories I have mostly found a basic formula that I like, but this might have to change for something, if I wrote a horror story per say.

Being a cyoa site, does anyone like to swtich it up depending on what branch a reader might pick, if it vastly alters the story. It seems like it would be easier to keep all the different branches and outcomes organized using the same formula. But I know some of you like to do some crazy cool shit with that, so I would like to hear your opinions and whatnot. 

Story Formulas, Plot, Pot, Etc.

6 months ago

I highly recommend this very short (less than 5 minutes) lecture by Kurt Vonnegut.

 

The Shape of Stories

Story Formulas, Plot, Pot, Etc.

6 months ago

I have never seen anything like this before but it is amazing.

I will be keeping this somewhere easily accessible. 

My mind does not usually think in terms of curvy lines so a chart like this would be fun to play around with.

Story Formulas, Plot, Pot, Etc.

6 months ago
Well there's the classic Warrior Cat fanfic structure of join clan, meet girl cat, have kittens, get deleted, but like most things that deviate too much from the basic setup > conflict > resolution structure, I don't think end result is very satisfying. (Well, until the deleting part...)

Obviously with a CYOA you encounter things like early ends, but dying because you dodged left instead of right or whatever is never written as the intended end.

Story Formulas, Plot, Pot, Etc.

6 months ago

Thats my favorite stucture!

Ah, I didn't take the early ends into consideration but I suppose those could sort of play a role in the overall formula.

Anything specific you like to mess with structure wise in your stories?

Story Formulas, Plot, Pot, Etc.

6 months ago
That chart they show you in basic college courses or high school with the rising pyramid is kind of fake news. Think of your story structure as having a more jagged edge.

You have a success! Followed by a failure. Now you need to reset your plan. You persevere, overcome the failure and things look up! Then you have another setback.

The rising action isn't a smooth slope to the climax, it's a series of triumphs (or perceived triumphs) and new obstacles.

Story Formulas, Plot, Pot, Etc.

6 months ago
It's still the minimum you need to call something a story. What you're talking about would apply to something like a novel in scope, while stories come in many forms. A 1000 word short story or a flash fic a tenth that size doesn't have or need any of that. And it's all just repeating the same thing at different levels of intensity anyhow.

Story Formulas, Plot, Pot, Etc.

6 months ago
It sounded like he was talking about something bigger than a peppercorn? But yeah, I agree. You don't have the time for that in a short work.

Story Formulas, Plot, Pot, Etc.

6 months ago
Let me get back to you when I write one.

Story Formulas, Plot, Pot, Etc.

6 months ago
I mean, there's the seven basic story plots. There's no reason that you couldn't have an early choice that leads to a tragedy path and another that leads to a voyage and return path. However, I imagine you wouldn't want to shift tone such that you have a tragedy path and a comedy path.

Story Formulas, Plot, Pot, Etc.

6 months ago

Or you could just write a story with no formula in mind and see where it takes you. Just a thought. 

Story Formulas, Plot, Pot, Etc.

6 months ago

I find that works best writing something on paper

then developing it into something better later

Story Formulas, Plot, Pot, Etc.

6 months ago
The problem is how often this method takes you to a place where you're forced to either accept and continue on with something you're increasingly unhappy with, or else undo days/weeks worth of work that a little thinking ahead would have prevented.