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Friday, 15 October 2010

Story Types


Apparently there are only 7 story categories.

RAGS TO RICHES where the central poor, downtrodden yet deserving character rises from nothing into greatness. They must defeat a foe of some kind to keep their newfound and rightful status. (Aladdin, Cinderella)

QUEST where the central character takes a journey to achieve a certain goal meeting obstacles and forces along the way that try to stop him from achieving it.
This one is great for sequels. (Harry Potter, Lord of Rings)

OVERCOMING A MONSTER where the protagonist must overcome a dark evil being that has exerted a destructive force over a place or people. (Hansel & Gretel)

REBIRTH where the protagonist’s imprisonment is derived from something from within his own psyche. His liberation can only be achieved through the actions of other good forces.
(A Christmas Carol)

JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY where the hero travels to another world, learning things along the way that give him a deeper understanding of himself and the world around him. (Alice in Wonderland, Gulliver’s Travels)

TRAGEDY where the central character goes through a series of actions and decisions that unwittingly brings about their own downfall and result in a cathartic “purging” of emotion. (Hamlet, Emperor’s New Clothes)

COMEDY where the central characters are thrown into a state of confusion and bewilderment where resolution can only be achieved when these restricting factors have been played out to their extremes. (The Missing Postman)


I think, because of my psychology background, the one I tend to automatically choose is rebirth.

Do you have a recurring favourite story type?
Is it consciously chosen or subconscious?


11 comments:

  1. I tend to pick my story types subconciously, but my current WiP's are a quest, overcoming a monster and a rags to riches (I think).

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  2. I tend to lean towards quest and overcoming a monster.

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  3. Ooo. . .I hadn't really thought about this before. I could tell you the ones I don't do - rags to riches and tragedy. I'll have to think about this some more!

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  4. Thanks Ellie, Liz and Misha
    I think quests are great, I would love to do one myself.:O)

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  5. I like al those story types. I'm planning my novel for NaNoWriMo, and I'll have to think about which story-type mine is. Thanks for this concise list!

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  6. I probably go for Quest or Rebirth, but without thinking about it in those terms.

    My ideal category would be tragedy with a happy ending - lots of bad and sad then everything satisfactorily resolved. :-)

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  7. Isn't that interesting? So it can be boiled down to seven!

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  8. Hm - my current WIP is definitely a Quest, but my NaNo novel for this year is Overcoming a Monster (I think - still plotting).

    Great list - thanks for sharing! :)

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  9. Thanks for finding my blog and commenting.

    I think I tend towards the 'rebirth'. I like the way you broke that down.

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  10. That's a really hard question. I've got early drafts of two novels more or less written. One's clearly rebirth but the other is probably comedy.

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  11. Thanks for dropping by and sharing ladies. Yes it is an interesting concept and something I hadn't really thought about myself until I happened upon it recently.

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