The Seven Basic Plots

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by The Mad Hatter, Mar 31, 2005.

  1. The Mad Hatter

    The Mad Hatter A-List Customer

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    According to an op-ed in today's L.A. Times, there are seven basic plots which underly all stories:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion...0,4280910.story?coll=la-news-comment-opinions

     
  2. Ethan Bentley

    Ethan Bentley One Too Many

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    What a fascinating post. I've heard similar things about jokes and cocktails.
     
  3. HarpPlayerGene

    HarpPlayerGene I'll Lock Up

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    Hmmm.... those certainly are seven of the plots. There's one, however, which I don't think I see covered, which is very often used in modern films, and which a friend of mine calls the, "You Pissed Me Off So I Came Back To Kill You" plot. :D
     
  4. Flitcraft

    Flitcraft One Too Many

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    I've seen something similar before...

    but I always wonder, where does King Kong fit into this theory...hmmm...[huh] :rolleyes: :)
     
  5. Ethan Bentley

    Ethan Bentley One Too Many

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    Ah those are great films; the more you annoy me, the more outrageous (i.e. explosive) my revenge will be!
     
  6. Doctor Strange

    Doctor Strange I'll Lock Up

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    A friend once told me that there are only two basic plots:

    The Hero goes on a quest
    &
    The Stranger comes to town

    He then want on to say that it could be simplified even further: this is actually really the exact same plot... just viewed from two different perspectives!
     
  7. Geronimo

    Geronimo One of the Regulars

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    Very interesting.
    Would Snakes on a Plane qualify for this one? :p

    Interesting that the only 'comedy' is the romantic comedy.
     
  8. Geesie

    Geesie Practically Family

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    Seven?
    Or maybe...
    36 (Gozzi and Ploti)
    20 (Ronald Tobias)
    7 (and not the ones in the OP, either)
    3 (Foster-Harris)
    2 (Tobias again)
    1
     
  9. C-dot

    C-dot Call Me a Cab

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    This reminds me of the seven types of conflict, essential to literary plot:

    1 - man vs. nature
    2 - man vs. man
    3 - man vs. the environment
    4 - man vs. machines/technology
    5 - man vs. the supernatural
    6 - man vs. self
    7 - man vs. god/religion

    Conflict was first described in Greek Literature (agon). Aristotle wrote that in order for a plot to work, the hero must have a single conflict, and according to Plutarch, an ennobling one.
    Joseph Campbell's Monomyth is also related (re: Odysseus), and the history makes for interesting reading. :)
     
  10. Ethan Bentley

    Ethan Bentley One Too Many

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    Ah interesting, how does man vs. nature differ from man vs. the environment?
     
  11. C-dot

    C-dot Call Me a Cab

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    Man vs. Nature refers to Man fighting something he cannot change, a "force of nature"; for example a terminal illness. The environment would refer more to a feat such as mountain climbing, or lawn mowing :)
     
  12. Ethan Bentley

    Ethan Bentley One Too Many

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    Ah I see I was looking at it too literally, really need to read some more De Bono.
    Thank you for the explanation :).
     

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