Creating Satisfactory Stories
In the end a story is satisfactory if it reflects what we have come to know in our own life. There are rules in story only because there are rules in our own life. Rules that are as unchangeable and plain as the air we breathe. One can go about questioning our need for oxygen but it will do them no more good than will a writer who seeks to dishonor the audience by feeding them expectations and failing to meet them. Their story will simply not be as popular and that is all there is too it. But a story that meets all of the expectations it gives tends to be appreciated even by those who have not preference for the genera it was written in. This is because a good story reflects and amplifies life. We see ourselves in it and perceive a truth we will be mesmerized.
I have compiled from different plots simplifications of the plots that we read and stories and relate to because we live them in real life. A satisfactory story is not necessarily a happy ending. But one in which all of the elements honors each other and are balanced. To know how to balance the elements one should understand the iconic plot that it is a part of.
There are three basic endings to any story; a happy ending, a sad ending and a bittersweet ending. A story to be satisfactory has to clearly end in one of these three ways. An ambiguous ending is possible but it is unsatisfactory as life in the end is not ambiguous. Ending the story is creating an expectation in the audiences mind that there is an end. It is dishonoring to cut them off. One can leave open possibilities but the main plot of the story should be concluded. That is of course if the writer does not INTEND to irritate the audience. If the writer chooses to then they may by all means but it is a small audience who prefers irritation to closure. Still though a good storyteller is intentional in every element that they put into a story.
How I have sought to help this process and how to make good use of the following material:
So below for each of the plots I have added simplified dramatic questions these help guide to the definite ending in each type of plot.
Also for each is the roles of protagonist and antagonist. In every satisfactory story these are clearly defined and are both active in seeking and fighting for what they want.
One of the strongest tools towards making a satisfactory story is the catalyst. Two characters would not be fighting unless there was a strong reason to bind them to the fight. The greater the fight the stronger the catalyst needs to be. Whatever the catalyst(s) ends up being it HAS TO give both protagonist and antagonist no other choice but to fight to the end. It can be a situation, a conviction a punishment whatever but it must be irrefutable. Also it is imperative that the audience relate to the catalyst. They should say in their minds “Yeah I would leave the situation either.”
I have listed other variables taken largely from the 36 dramatic situations, which are very valuable in themselves, however dated and incomplete.
It should be noted that this is an ongoing draft.
“The Social Sphere”
Our need to be in communion with others. Our Family, Friends and Acquaintances. Anyone who we have made contact with.
Life: Acceptance, Communion
Hero and Potential Love VS Their Differences
Dramatic Question: Will ______ and ______ overcome their differences so that they can get together? (Fall in love, enjoy their connection, appreciate each other, etc) OR Will they not be able to and remain separated?
Catalyst: the interest the two have in each other
Characters: Two people/characters (romantic couple, plutonic friends, a person and an animal/creature, or relatives) OR a person and their environment OR a person and them-self
Subheadings: free union impeded by the incompatibility of temper of the lovers
STC “Buddy Love” (Two Counterparts VS the Complication (that keeps them apart): Pet Love, Professional Love, Romantic Comedy Love, Epic Love, Forbidden Love
Obstacles to Love
Two Lovers or Friends VS The Obstacle (that is keeping them apart)
Dramatic Question: Will ______ and ______ overcome the Obstacle and finally be together? OR Will they be defeated by the Obstacle and have to remain apart?
Catalyst: the “Love” between the Lovers
Characters: Two people/characters (romantic couple, plutonic friends, a person and an animal/creature, or relatives)
The Obstacle: Another Character or Characters, a Situation, an Environment, Culture or Distance, or a personal Disability or hindrance (not to be confused with "differences" as in Love Story)
Subheadings: marriage prevented by inequality of rank, inequality of fortune an impediment to marriage, marriage prevented by enemies and contingent obstacles, marriage forbidden on account of the young woman's previous betrothal to another, marriage forbidden on account of the young woman's previous betrothal to another, complicated by an imaginary marriage of the beloved object, free union impeded by the opposition of relatives, family affection disturbed by the parents-in-law
Other: Love - plot involves the Protagonist overcoming the obstacles to love that keeps them from consummating (engaging in) true love. Forbidden Love - plot involves Protagonist(s) overcoming obstacles created by social mores and taboos to consummate their relationship (and sometimes finding it at too high a price to live with).
Note: This is similar to "Love Story" only the two characters Start "in love."
An enemy loved
Lover and Beloved Enemy VS the Hater
Dramatic Question: Will the Lover and/or the Beloved Enemy be able to overcome the Hater (or change the hater’s motive)? OR Will the Hater prevail and keep the two apart?
Catalyst: The hatred (justifiable to a degree) of the Hater and the love of the Lovers
Subheadings: the loved one hated by kinsmen of the lover, the lover pursued by the brothers of his beloved, the lover hated by the family of his beloved, the lover is a son of a man hated by the kinsmen of his beloved, the lover is an enemy of the party of the woman who loves him, the lover is the slayer of the father of his beloved, the beloved is the slayer of the father of her lover, the beloved is the slayer of the brother of her lover, the beloved is the slayer of the husband of the woman who loves him, but who has previously sworn to avenge that husband, the beloved is the slayer of a previous lover of the woman who loves him, but who has previously sworn to avenge the dead lover, the beloved is a slayer of a kinsman of the woman who loves him, the beloved is the daughter of the slayer of her lover's father
Note: A more specific version of “Obstacles of Love”
Hater VS Hater
Catalyst: They must be stuck together for some reason.
Crimes of Love
Lover VS Beloved
Characters: Two people/characters (romantic couple, plutonic friends, a person and an animal/creature, or relatives)
The “Love” can be any form of love, affection, friendship, protectiveness, or lust that is at the heart selfish on the part of the Lover and hurtful to the Beloved.
Dramatic Question: Will the Beloved be overcome by the Lover's ill-motivated Love? OR Will the Beloved escape? OR Will the Lover come to their senses? OR Will the Beloved change their perspective?
Catalyst: The “love” of the Lover and the fact that the Beloved (for some reason) cannot escape the lover
Subheadings: a mother in love with her son, a daughter in love with her father, violation of a daughter by a father, a woman enamored of her stepson, a woman and her stepson enamored of each other, a woman being the mistress, at the same time, of a father and son, both of whom accept the situation, a man becomes the lover of his sister-in-law, a man becomes enamored of his sister-in-law, a brother and sister in love with each other, a man/woman enamored of another man/woman, who yields, a woman enamored of a bull
Enmity of kinsmen
Malevolent Kinsman VS Hated or reciprocally hating Kinsman
Dramatic Question: Will the two “Haters” learn to get along or even love each other? OR Will they destroy each other?
Catalyst: they cannot get away from each other because they are family or they are some how stuck in the same situation.
Subheadings: one brother hated by several, reciprocal hatred between brothers, hatred between relatives for reasons of self-interest, hatred of father and son, mutual hatred, hatred of daughter for the father, hatred of grandfather for grandson, hatred of father-in-law for son-in-law, hatred of two brothers-in-law, hatred of mother-in-law for daughter-in-law, infanticide
"a deceived spouse; two adulterers"
Catalyst: The marital vow and/or the love that the spouses once had or still have.
Subheadings: a mistress betrayed for a young woman, a mistress betrayed for a young wife, a mistress betrayed for a girl, a wife betrayed for a slave, who does not love in return, a wife betrayed for debauchery, a wife betrayed for a married woman, a wife betrayed with the intention of bigamy, a wife betrayed for a young girl, who does not love in return, a wife envied by a young girl who is in love with her husband, a wife betrayed by a courtesan, rivalry between a wife who is antipathetic and a mistress who is congenial, rivalry between a generous wife and an impassioned girl, an antagonistic husband sacrificed for a congenial lover, a husband, believed to be lost, forgotten for a rival, a commonplace husband, sacrificed for a sympathetic lover, a good husband betrayed for an inferior rival, a good husband betrayed for a grotesque rival, a good husband betrayed for an odious rival, a good husband betrayed for a commonplace rival, by a perverse wife, a good husband betrayed for a rival less handsome, but useful, vengeance of a deceived husband, jealousy sacrificed for the sake of a cause, a husband persecuted by a rejected rival
“The Physical Sphere”
Life: Life, Pleasure, Shelter, Food and Safety
Death: Death, Pain
The Vanquished VS The Effects (of the Disaster)
Dramatic Question: Will the Vanquished become victor and overcome the Effects of the disaster? OR Will the Vanquished remain a victim and succumb to the effects?
Catalyst: The Victims only hope for life is to try and overcome the disaster. The Disaster itself cannot be undone.
The Disaster: a victorious enemy, a messenger or an unreasoning force
Subheading: defeat suffered, a fatherland destroyed, the fall of humanity, a natural catastrophe, a monarch overthrown, ingratitude suffered, the suffering of unjust punishment or enmity, an outrage suffered, abandonment by a lover or a husband, children lost by their parents
STC “Dude With a Problem” (Innocent hero, Sudden Event, Life or death Battle): Spy Problem, Law Enforcement, Domestic Problem, Epic Problem, and Nature Problem
Defender VS Monster Evil Incarnate
Catalyst: the Defenders should be unable to get away from the Monster. They cannot escape therefore they must destroy the Monster.
The Monster: Evil Incarnate in any form. It should be character(s) or thing(s) that are pure malevolence and out to destroy all in their path or a specific character or characters. The Monster should also be powerful and chaotic (relative to the Defenders)
The Defenders: Any character to group that wants to survive and has to fight the Monster. The defenders should be mortal and venerable (relative to the Monster) but they should put up a good fight.
Dramatic Question: Will the Defenders defeat the Monster? OR Will the Monster Destroy the Defenders?
STC: Pure Monster, Domestic Monster, Serial Monster, Supra-natural Monster, Nihilist Monster
Victim(s) VS Monster
Catalyst: Physically trapped with the Monster, and the Defenders Desirer to live.
Other: Zombies attack, Monster on the Lose, Rouge predator, Serial Killer
Victim(s) VS Man Person
Catalyst: the Victim should either be physically trapped with the Mad Person or they should be equally trapped due to their own character flaw or social/societal/cultural/marital/commitment demands.
Subheadings: kinsmen slain in madness, a lover slain in madness, slaying or injuring of a person not hated, disgrace brought upon oneself through madness, loss of loved ones brought about by madness, madness brought on by fear of heredity insanity
The Betrayed Spouse VS Two Adulterers
Adultery: Not just marital it can be any severe breach of commitment in which the “Betrayed Spouse” is left significantly wounded. Wounded enough to drive them mad with rage.
Catalyst: the commitment and the attachment of spouses.
Subheadings: slaying of a husband by, or for, a paramour, slaying of a trusted lover, slaying of a wife for a paramour, and in self-interest
Falling prey to cruelty or misfortune
"an unfortunate; a master or a misfortune"
Subheading: the innocent made the victim of ambitious intrigue, the innocent despoiled by those who should protect, the powerful dispossessed or wretched, a favorite or an intimate finds himself forgotten, the unfortunate robbed of their hope
Correcting a Mistake
"the imprudent; the victim or the object lost"
Subheadings: imprudence the cause of one's own misfortune, imprudence the cause of one's own dishonor, curiosity the cause of one's own misfortune, loss of possession of a loved one through curiosity, curiosity the cause of death or misfortune to others, imprudence the cause of a relative's death, imprudence the cause of a lover's death, credulity the cause of kinsmen's deaths, credulity the cause of misfortune
"the jealous; the object of whose possessions he is jealous; the supposed accomplice; the cause or the author of the mistake"
Subheadings: the mistake originates in the suspicious mind of the jealous one, mistaken jealousy aroused by a fatal chance, mistaken jealousy of a love which is purely platonic, baseless jealousy aroused by malicious rumors, jealousy suggested by a traitor who is moved by hatred, jealousy suggested by a traitor who is moved by self-interest, jealousy suggested by a traitor who is moved by jealousy and self-interest, reciprocal jealousy suggested to husband and wife by a rival, jealousy suggested to the husband by a dismissed suitor, jealousy suggested to the husband by a woman who is in love with him, jealousy suggested to the wife by a scorned rival, jealousy suggested to a happy lover by the deceived husband
"the mistaken one; the victim of the mistake; the cause or author of the mistake; the guilty person"
Subheadings: suspicion where faith is necessary, false suspicion, false suspicions aroused by the a misunderstood attitude of a loved one, false suspicions aroused by indifference, false suspicions drawn upon oneself to save a friend, false suspicions fall upon the innocent, false suspicions fall upon the innocent spouse of the guilty one, false suspicions fall upon an innocent but guilty-intentioned, false suspicions fall upon an innocent who believes themselves guilty, a witness to a crime, in the interests of loved one, lets accusation fall upon the innocent, the accusation is allowed to fall upon an enemy, the error is provoked by the enemy, the mistake is directed against the victim by her brother, false suspicion thrown by the real culprit upon one of his enemies, false suspicion thrown by the real culprit upon the second victim against which he has plotted from the beginning, false suspicion thrown upon a rival, false suspicion thrown upon an innocent because he has refused to be an accomplice, false suspicion thrown by a deserted mistress upon a lover who left her because he would not deceive her husband, struggle to rehabilitate oneself and to avenge a judicial error purposely caused
Other: Decision (#20) - riches-to-rags plot deals with the fall (destruction) of Protagonist due to dominating character trait that eventually destroys their success. Wretched Excess (#18) - plot involves a Protagonist who, either by choice or by accident, pushes the limits of acceptable behavior to the extreme and is forced to deal with the consequences (generally deals with the psychological decline of the character).
Slaying of a kinsman unrecognized
"the slayer; the unrecognized victim"
Subheadings: being upon the point of slaying a daughter unknowingly by command of a divinity or an oracle, being upon the point of slaying a daughter unknowingly through political necessity, being upon the point of slaying a daughter unknowingly through a rivalry in love, being upon the point of slaying a daughter unknowingly through hatred of the lover of the unrecognized daughter, being upon the point of slaying a son unknowingly, being upon the point of slaying a son unknowingly, strengthened by Machiavellian instigations, being upon the point of slaying a son unknowingly, strengthened by Machiavellian instigations, intermixed with hatred of kinsmen, being upon the point of slaying a brother, unknowingly, in anger, a sister, upon the point of slaying a brother, unknowingly, through professional duty, slaying of a mother unrecognized, slaying of a father unknowingly, through Machiavellian advice, slaying of a father unknowingly, insulting of a father unknowingly, being on the point of slaying of a father unknowingly, a grandfather slain unknowingly, in vengeance and through instigation, a grandfather slain involuntarily, a father-in-law killed involuntarily, involuntary killing of a loved woman, being on the point of killing a lover, unrecognized, failure to rescue an unrecognized son
Subheadings: Thinking someone is rich when he's poor, the wrong man caught in the web of fear, Schizophrenia.
“The Mental Sphere”
Life: Closure, Knowledge, Truth and Understanding
Death: Darkness, The Unknown
Seeker VS the Mystery
Catalyst: the necessity to solve the problem.
The Mystery: interrogator and/or a problem to be solved
Subheadings: search for person who must be found on pain of death, a riddle to be solved on pain of death, a riddle to be solved on pain of death in which the poser is the coveted woman, temptations offered with the object of discovering his name, temptations offered with the object of ascertaining the sex, tests for the purposes of ascertaining the mental condition
Other: THE RIDDLE - plot involves the Protagonist's search for clues to find the hidden meaning of something in question that is deliberately enigmatic or ambiguous.
STC “Why-Dun-It” (Detective, Secret, Dark Turn): Political Whydunit, Fantasy Whydunit, Cop Whydunit, Personal Whydunit, Noir Whydunit
Rites of Passage
“The Time Sphere”
Life: Progression, Expansion and Adaption
Death: Stagnation, Despair and Retardation
Rites of Passage
Character VS Life Problem
Catalyst: Progression (life) is possible if the Life Problem is faced. Stagnation and Despair (Death) is inevitable if the Life Problem is allowed to remain unchallenged.
STC “Rites of Passage” (Life Problem, Wrong way, Acceptance):
Mid-Life Passage, Separation Passage, Death Passage, Addiction Passage, Adolescent Passage
Other: TRANSFORMATION - plot involves the process of change in the Protagonist as they journey through a stage of life that moves them from one significant character state to another. MATURATION - plot involves the Protagonist facing a problem that is part of growing up, and from dealing with it, emerging into a state of adulthood (going from innocence to experience). DISCOVERY - plot that is the most character-centered of all, involves the Protagonist having to overcome an upheaval(s) in their life, and thereby discovering something important (and buried) within them a better understanding of life (i.e., better appreciation of their life, a clearer purpose in their life, etc.)
Loss of loved ones
The Spectator VS the Reality of the Loss
Catalyst: The Love of the Lost One.
Subheadings: "a kinsman slain; a kinsman spectator; an executioner", witnessing the slaying of kinsmen while powerless to prevent it, helping to bring misfortune upon one's people through professional secrecy, divining the death of a loved one, learning of the death of a kinsman or ally, relapse into primitive baseness, through despair on learning of the death of a loved one
The Culprit VS the Sin
Catalyst: The Culprits conviction and guilt for the sin.
The Sin: Can be self standing but more effective is its affect on victim also there can be an interrogator who goats the conscious of the Culprit but in this case the real battle is within the Moral of the Culprit.
Subheadings: remorse for an unknown crime, remorse for a parricide, remorse for an assassination, remorse for the murder of husband or wife, remorse for a fault of love, remorse for an adultery
Rescuer VS Threatener
Dramatic Question: Will the Rescuer save the Unfortunate from the Threatener? OR Will the Unfortunate be lost to the Threatener?
Subheadings: appearance of a rescuer to the condemned, a parent replaced upon the throne by his children, rescue by friends or by strangers grateful for benefits or hospitality
Recovery of a lost one
"the seeker; the one found"
Subheadings: recovery of a lost one
"the abductor; the abducted; the guardian"
Subheadings: abduction of an unwilling woman, abduction of a consenting woman, recapture of the woman without the slaying of the abductor, recapture of the woman with the abductor slain, the rescue of a captive friend, the rescue of a child, the rescue of a soul in captivity to error
#4 RESCUE - this plot involves the Protagonist searching for someone or something, usually consisting of three main characters - the Protagonist, the Victim & the Antagonist.
"a persecutor, a suppliant and a power in authority"
Subheadings: fugitives imploring the powerful for help against their enemies, assistance implored for the performance of a pious duty which has been forbidden, appeals for a refuge in which to die, hospitality besought by the shipwrecked, charity entreated by those cast off by their own people, whom they have disgraced, expiation, the seeking of pardon, healing or deliverance, the surrender of a corpse, or of a relic, solicited, supplication of the powerful for those dear to the suppliant, supplication to a relative in behalf of another relative, supplication to a mother's lover, in her behalf
Crime and Justice
“The Moral Sphere”
Our Need for justice. Religion, Faith, Our Moral Code Upheld, honor.
Justice VS Criminal
The Criminal: can be any character who has committed a crime.
The Crime: can be real or only perceived, and can be anything from murder to an insult. Whatever it is it must amount to a crime in the eyes of “Justice.”
Justice: Can be a whole government or society or a single or couple of characters who are acting as the Avenger(s).
Dramatic Question: Will the Criminal flee Justice? OR Will the Criminal pay for their crime? OR Will Mercy triumph over Justice? Or will both criminal and Justice destroy each other?
Avenger VS Criminal
Catalyst: the avengers inability to forgive the criminal, the necessity of justice, the nature of the crime.
Subheadings: the avenging of a slain parent or ancestor, the avenging of a slain child or descendant, vengeance for a child dishonored, the avenging of a slain wife or husband, vengeance for the dishonor or attempted dishonoring of a wife, vengeance for a mistress slain, vengeance for a slain or injured friend, vengeance for a sister seduced, vengeance for intentional injury or spoliation, vengeance for having been despoiled during absence, revenge for a false accusation, vengeance for violation, vengeance for having been robbed of one's own, vengeance on a whole sex for a deception by one, professional pursuit of criminals, a father's death avenged upon a mother, a mother avenged upon a father, a brother's death avenged upon a son, a father's death avenged upon a husband, a husband's death avenged upon a father
Other: #6 REVENGE - retaliation by Protagonist or Antagonist against the other for real or imagined injury.
Fugitive VS Punishment
Catalyst: the fugitives desire to avoid punishment, the punishment
Subheading: fugitives from justice pursued for brigandage, political offences, etc, pursued for a fault of love, a hero struggling against a power, a pseudo-madman struggling against an Iago-like alienist
Other: hide-and-seek, one person chasing another.
Involuntary Crimes of Love
The Lover and Beloved VS The Revealer
Catalyst: The relation or love to the one on whom the crime is committed.
Subheadings: discovery that one has married one's mother, discovery that one has a sibling as a lover, discovery that one has married one's sibling, discovery that one has married one's sibling, in which the crime has been villainously planned by a third person, being on the point of taking a sibling, unknowingly, as a lover, being upon the point of violating, unknowingly, a child, being upon the point of committing an adultery unknowingly, adultery committed unknowingly
Discovery of the dishonor of a loved one
The Avenger VS the Dishonorer and/or the Dishonored
Catalyst: The love of the one Dishonored
Subheadings: discovery of a parent's shame, of a child's dishonor, of a sibling's shame or dishonor, of dishonor in the family of one's fiancée, discovery that one's wife has been violated before marriage, that one's wife has been violated since the marriage, that one's spouse has previously committed a fault, that one's spouse has formerly been a prostitute, discovery of dishonor on the part of a lover, discovery that one's mistress (formerly a prostitute) has returned to her former life, discovery that one's lover is of bad character, discovery that one's spouse is of bad character, discovery that one's lover is specifically weakened, discovery that one's son is an assassin, duty of punishing a traitorous relative, duty of punishing a son condemned under a law which the father has made, duty of punishing a son believed to be guilty, duty of sacrificing, to fulfill a vow of tyrranicide, a father until then unknown, duty of punishing a wrong-doing relative, duty of punishing one's mother to avenge one's father
Sacrificed VS the Necessity of the Sacrifice
Self-sacrificing for an ideal
"The hero; the Ideal' the "creditor" or the person or thing sacrificed"
Subheadings: sacrifice of life for the sake of one's word, life sacrificed for the benefit of one's own people, life sacrificed in filial piety, life sacrificed for the sake of one's faith, both love and life sacrificed for one's faith, both love and life sacrificed to a cause, love sacrificed to interests of state, sacrifice of well-being to duty, the ideal of "honor" sacrificed to the ideal of "faith"
Other: Sacrifice (#16) - plot involves the Protagonist taking action(s) that is motivated by a higher purpose (concept) such as love, honor, or charity or for the sake of humanity.
Self-sacrifice for kindred
"The hero; the kinsman; the "creditor" or person or thing sacrificed"
Subheadings: life sacrificed for that of a relative or loved one, life sacrificed for the happiness of a relative or loved one, ambition sacrificed for the happiness of a parent, ambition sacrificed for the life of a parent, love sacrificed for the sake of a parent's life, love sacrificed for the happiness of one's child, love sacrificed for the happiness of a loved one, love sacrificed for the happiness of one's child, but the situation brought about by unjust laws, life and honor sacrificed for the life of a parent or loved one, modesty sacrificed for the life of a relative or a loved one
All sacrificed for a passion
"The lover; the object of the fatal passion; the person or thing sacrificed"
Subheadings: religious vows of chastity broken for a passion, a vow of purity broken, a future ruined by a passion, power ruined by passion, ruin of mind, health and life, ruin of fortunes, lives and honors, temptations destroying the sense of duty, of pity, etc., destruction of honor, fortune and life by erotic vice, destruction of honor, fortune and life by any other vice
#10 TEMPTATION - plot involves a Protagonist that for one reason or another is induced or persuaded to do something that is unwise, wrong or immoral.
Necessity of sacrificing loved ones
"The hero; the beloved victim; the necessity for the sacrifice"
Subheadings: necessity for sacrificing a daughter in the public interest, duty of sacrificing a daughter in fulfillment of a vow to a god, duty of sacrificing benefactors or loved ones to one's faith, duty of sacrificing one's child, unknown to others, under the pressure of necessity, duty of sacrificing, unknown to others, one's father, under the pressure of necessity, duty of sacrificing, unknown to others, one's husband, under the pressure of necessity, duty of sacrificing a son-in-law for the public good, duty of sacrificing a son-in-law for the sake of reputation, duty of contending with a brother-in-law for the public good, duty of contending with a friend
Ambition and Rivalry
Ambitious Character VS Adversary (that blocks the Coveted Object)
Dramatic Question: Will the bold leader take the prize? OR Will he lose it to the Adversary OR will they both lose it? OR will they learn to share? (Sharing being relative.)
Catalyst: Both parties desire and need an object that only one can leave with. The need for the object can be further heightened if the each rival will be subjected to a type of death (not necessarily literal) if the object is not obtained.
The Object: can be a literal object, a prize, a person, a title, anything real (wither tangible or intangible that cannot be shared)
Subheadings: ambition watched and guarded against by a kinsman or patriot friend, ambition watched and guarded against by a brother, ambition watched and guarded against by a relative or person under no obligation, ambition watched and guarded against by partisans, rebellious ambition, ambition and covetousness heaping crime upon crime, parricidal ambition
Other: QUEST - the plot involves the Protagonist's search for a person, place or thing, tangible or intangible (but must be quantifiable, so think of this as a noun; i.e., immortality). ADVENTURE - this plot involves the Protagonist going in search of their fortune, and since fortune is never found at home, the Protagonist goes to search for it somewhere over the rainbow. RIVALRY - plot involves Protagonist competing for same object or goal as another person (their rival).
STC: “Golden Fleece” (Road, Team, Prize): Sports Fleece, Buddy Fleece, Epic Fleece, Caper Fleece, Solo Fleece
Bold Leader VS Adversary (that blocks the Desired Object)
Subheadings: Preparations for war, war, a combat, carrying off a desired person or object, recapture of a desired object, adventurous expeditions, and adventure undertaken for the purpose of obtaining a beloved woman
Solicitor VS Refuser
Subheadings: Efforts to obtain an object by ruse or force, Endeavour by means of persuasive eloquence alone, Eloquence with an arbitrator
Rivalry of kinsmen
The Preferred Kinsman VS the Rejected Kinsman
Subheadings: malicious rivalry of a sibling, malicious rivalry of two siblings, rivalry of two siblings, with adultery on the part of one, rivalry of a parent and a child for an unmarried lover, rivalry of a parent and a child for a married lover, rivalry of a parent and a child for the love of the other parent, rivalry of parent and child, rivalry of cousins, rivalry of friends
Rivalry of superior and inferior
Inferior Rival VS Superior Rival
Subheadings: rivalry of a mortal and an immortal, rivalry of two divinities of unequal power, rivalry of a magician and an ordinary man, rivalry of conqueror and conquered, rivalry of victor and vanquished, rivalry of a master and a banished man, rivalry of suzerain king and vassal king, rivalry of a king and a noble, rivalry of a powerful person and an upstart, rivalry of rich and poor, rivalry of an honored man and a suspected one, rivalry of two who are almost equal, rivalry of equals, one of whom has in the past been guilty of adultery, rivalry of a man who is loved and one who has not the right to love, rivalry of the two successive husbands of a divorcee, rivalry of a sorceress and an ordinary woman, rivalry of a victor and a prisoner, rivalry of a queen and a subject, rivalry of a queen and a slave, rivalry of a lady and a servant, rivalry of a lady and a woman of humbler position, rivalry of two who are almost equals, complicated by the abandonment of one, rivalry between a memory and an ideal (that of a superior woman) and a vassal of her own, rivalry of mortal and immortal, double rivalry (A vs B vs C vs D), rivalry of two immortals, rivalry of two mortals, rivalry of two lawful wives
Other: UNDERDOG - plot involves a Protagonist competing for an object or goal that is at a great disadvantage and is faced with overwhelming odds.
Tyrant VS Conspirator
Usurper VS Oppressor
Subheadings: a conspiracy chiefly of one individual, a conspiracy of several, revolt of one individual who influences and involves others, a revolt of many
Conflict with a god
Mortal VS the Power (that the Deity Holds)
Subheadings: struggle against a deity, strife with believers in a god, controversy with a deity, punishment for contempt of a god, punishment for pride before a god, presumptuous rivalry with a god, impudent rivalry with a deity
#5 ESCAPE - plot involves a Protagonist confined against their will who wants to escape (does not include some one trying to escape their personal demons).
Other Dramatic Situations From Save the Cat:
Out of the Bottle
Wish, Spell, Lesson
Body Switch Bottle, Angel Bottle, Thing Bottle, Curse Bottle, Surreal Bottle
Fool, Establishment, Transmutation
Political Fool, Undercover Fool, Society Fool, Fool Out of Water, Sex Fool
Special Power, Nemesis, Curse
Real Life Superhero, Storybook Superhero, Fantasy Superhero, People’ Superhero, Comic- Book Superhero
Group, Choice, Sacrifice
Military Institution, Family Institution, Business Institution, Mentor Institution, Issue Institution: