How Destroying the World Could be a Good Thing!

Mr. Tobias’s twenty story plots are still on my mind, so it was with that mid-set that I think I came up with one that is overlooked by most novel writers, and not utilized enough with script writers.  Are you ready?

It’s called ‘Survival‘.

Remember all those apocalyptic movies Hollywood was belching out? Where at the very last moment, the Hero would do something and save the world from a horrible end? Yeah, not those. I’m talking about the movies where the main character(s) struggled to survive, and most of the secondary ones didn’t. Movies like WAR OF THE WORLDS, CLOVERFIELD, and to some extent, SKYLINE. With these movies, the MC wasn’t falling in love during a lull in the action, or trying to come up with a clever way to save the world. All that was on their minds was how they could survive the next few minutes, few hours, few days.

Movies like this are rare, and I understand why. People like to have a happy ending. A happy ending wraps things up nicely with a bow on top and says ‘it came, it conquered, but we survived’. What kind of a story would it be where everyone died? We feel confident that if we ever got into that kind of a situation, at least we know we could get through it, and that makes it easier to watch it in the first place.

With novels, readers expect some kind of a neat and tidy ending. The Boy gets the Girl, the Hero saves the world, the quest is completed, etc, but what if that didn’t happen? What if the Hero didn’t find the answer in time, or the quest wasn’t completed?

It would be a bold and daring idea. Would you have the nerve to write a survival novel where the characters don’t make it?

Story plots and how to get the most from yours; Part Five

This week we look at the final four of Ronald Tobias’ twenty story plots.

Click the link below to review the first four.

Click the link below to review the second four.

Click the link below to review the third four.

Click the link below to review last week’s four.

Now, onto the final four.

17. Discovery

With Discovery, our Hero learns something, either good or bad, and must make a difficult choice. How important this discovery is, may not be known at first, but it is important to the overall storyline as its true significance is revealed.


18. Wretched Excess

I’ve never heard of this story plot before and it seems a little over the top for a plot idea. With a Wretched Excess plot, character behaviour is pushed past the accepted normality. Things are done to the extreme as the world looks on. I’m not sure how well of a plot this could be as it seems only geared for a horror story.


19. Ascension

In this plot, our Hero begins the story in the most dire of circumstances. Perhaps he is virtually in the gutter, maybe a criminal or someone on the fringes of society. The plot depicts their them becoming a better person; often to stress that would defeat a normal person, and therefore achieving the rightly deserved heroic status.


20. Descension

The opposite to ascension, our Hero comes from a place of prominence. Due to factors within his life (and the story) we watch as he tumbles into a downward spiral of moral or social depravity, possible as the result of not able to handle the stress he finds himself under


There you have it. The 20 plot ideas for your novel. While the majority of them did intrigue me, I found several that could be used more efficiently as sub-plots.

Have you written a story with these plot elements?

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