Writing Fiction - Part IV

Writing Fiction - Part I is here.
Writing Fiction - Part II is here.
Writing Fiction - Part II is here.

I talked about the overall Arcs in Part III covering the different flow a story can take. What about the basic plot? You need to be original, but there is no shame in following the classics. Let us take Snow White, a beautiful girl with a pure heart that gets sent off to the woods by her evil Stepmother to be killed. Her innocence and beauty saves her and she is left wandering the woods until she finds the seven dwarves who are charmed by her, she also takes care of the cooking, cleaning, laundry and assorted household chores which is always a good thing when you have seven messy guys living in one small house. Stepmother discovers Snow White is still alive through her magic mirror. Stepmother also knows that if she sends any man to get rid of Snow White, he will be charmed by her again and spare her. Some jobs, only a woman can do, so Stepmother transforms herself into an old hag and goes over to give Snow White the poisoned apple. Snow White bites into the apple but, in a twist of fate does not die, but falls into a deep sleep, or coma if you like. Prince Charming is riding along and gives her mouth to mouth and Snow White awakes for a grand wedding and happiness ever after.

The point here is that all stories are fairy tales with someone good and pure being challenged and surmounting different obstacles sometimes by luck, sometimes by fate and sometimes by their own purity and goodness. As the end nears, all is lost and a final disaster strikes our hero. Through pure luck, fate intervenes again and our hero rises and vanquishes all her enemies and has a happy ending.

Take Romeo and Juliet, the story is boy meets girl, boy falls for girl, girl falls for boy, parent problems, boy and girl get outside help, outside help gives them a plan, plan fails, tragedy, or plan works, household bliss. How many popular stories are based on the Romeo and Juliet model? Too many to count.

The advice here is to deconstruct the well known fairy tales and follow their themes; you can also combine different fairy tale themes together.

Think about it.

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