Tag: Christopher Booker

Activity 1 for Basic Plot Patterns in Literature

Basic Plot Patterns in Literature

If you are reaching this post without seeing the previous basic plot patterns posts, you might wish to start at the beginning. Be sure to download the handout in the Introduction post as it contains links to all the posts in this series.

Christopher Booker outlined seven basic plots. You will find a post for each plot. Each post contains a handout. This handout includes a foldable graphic organizer going over the basic plot pattern. Examples  and outlines help students better understand the plot. Students ‘dig deeper’ with discussion questions. After students explore each plot individually, this activity contains a fun way to practice. Students use television advertisements to help identify plot types. Continue Reading

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Basic Plot Structure – Rebirth

Booker's Rebirth

Christopher Booker’s book The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories outlines seven plots. One of these seven is ‘Rebirth.’In the beginning of the ‘Rebirth’ plot, a hero falls under a shadow of dark power. This may be caused by an outside source such as imprisonment, kidnapping, magic spells, illness, and so on. It may also be caused by a character flaw such as greed or addiction. Over the course of the story, the character changes. He redeems himself in the eyes of others.

Plot Description

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Basic Plot Structure – Tradegy

Booker's Tragedy

Christopher Booker’s book The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories outlines seven plots. One of these seven is ‘Tragedy.’ Opposite of ‘Overcoming the Monster,’ the hero does not reach his goal. The inner conflict is not solved. The story ends unhappily.

To begin with, the hero is part of a community. He has connections and relationships. This may be friendships, family, or marriage. A fatal flaw in the hero’s nature causes good intentions to fail. The hero breaks the bonds of loyalty with others. He makes a great mistake. Step by step the hero is separated from others. When the hero becomes aware of the mistake, his life is basically destroyed. This results in a fall of a good character. The final result is frequently death. Continue Reading

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Basic Plot Structure – Comedy

Booker's Comedy

Christopher Booker’s book The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories outlines seven plots. One of these seven is ‘Comedy.’ Booker explains comedy as a specific series of events. Not everything that is funny fits into this category.

The ‘Comedy” plot begins with a large group of characters. The hero and the heroine can’t get together. Everyone else thinks that they should be together. Unfortunately, something foolish keeps them apart.  Misunderstandings cause a series of humorous situations. Sometimes the problem is one person’s fault such as one of the characters is in a relationship with someone else. Other times, the problem is no one’s fault. Either way, there is confusion, miscommunication, and frustration. Continue Reading

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Basic Plot Structure – Voyage and Return

Booker's Voyage and Return

Christopher Booker’s book The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories outlines seven plots. One of these seven is ‘Voyage and Return.’ In this type of plot, the main character enters another land where normal rules don’t apply. This ‘dream world’ is often very different from his own home. The character must overcome threats. He conquers or escapes the world before returning home a more mature person.

In the new land, logic and common sense don’t apply. The hero must ask for advice from allies. Unfortunately, these are often tricksters that lead the character into deeper trouble. Continue Reading

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Basic Plot Structure – The Quest

Booker's The Quest

Christopher Booker’s book The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories outlines seven plots. One of these seven is ‘The Quest.’ In ‘The Quest’ plot, the main character, along with some companions, sets out to find an important object or priceless treasure. This plot is the most likely to have a group of main characters. The questors might include:

  • a close friend
  • a sidekick (A sidekick is a person who helps and spends a lot of time with someone who is usually more important and powerful.)
  • a generic group (soldiers)
  • a set of characters that each have their own stories (These usually have brains, heart, and strength to help the hero.)

They face many obstacles and temptations along the way. The hero obtains the treasure and returns home.
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Basic Plot Structure – Rags to Riches

Booker's Rags to Riches

Christopher Booker’s book The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories outlines seven plots. One of these seven is ‘Rags to Riches.’ In this plot, the main character gains power, wealth, or a mate.  In the beginning of the story, the character is clearly at the bottom of the social hierarchy. This character is unhappy but deserves better. The character is then put into a better situation and everything appears to go well. Something takes place that causes the character to almost lose what has been gained. The character must then overcome the crisis. Others may laugh at his efforts, yet the person persists. The character learns from going through the predicament. Finally the character gets the life he wished for. This may or may not be the life the character wanted at the beginning of the story.

Plot Description

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