Lately, I’ve been hard at work writing not one, but two novels. One is the sequel to the recently published ‘The Fated’ and the second is something a little bit different. But for anyone that knows me, this latest round of writing has led onto my latest round of Google mania. Whenever I get a bit stuck, or un-motivated, or just want to waste a bit of time, I turn to Google and search for pretty much anything. Some of you may have read the previous post I wrote when I started freaking out about the first book I wrote, and my discovery of plot clichés and Mary-Sue’s.
So this time, during one of my Google breaks, I was concentrating on how to write a good plot twist. Yet again, I found myself inundated with posts about clichés, and what you shouldn’t write. But nowhere does it really ever say what you should write. So just for fun, I thought I would gather up my favourite over-used plot lines and explain why I still think they are great.
1. The hero with a pre-destined future
This has been used about a million times. Harry Potter and the prophecy to knock off You-Know-Who is probably the most well-known. Basically, taking the main character and giving them a destiny that they have to fulfil whether they like it or not. And yet, I love this plot line. Why? Because who doesn’t want to think that Fate has a grand plan for them? I mean, have you ever imagined that you’re suddenly a chosen someone and the survival of the world as we know it rests on your shoulders?
2. The boy gets the girl…
Or the girl gets the guy, or the guy gets the guy, girl gets girl, etc. Whichever way around the storyline goes, who doesn’t love a happy ending wrapped up in a neat little bow? I know I do. You spend a whole book rooting for this love story. Who cares if its predictable that Jane is going to end up with John and they will live happily ever after? We like to know our favourite characters have defeated the bad guy and won their love interest. Happy endings for the win!
3. The love triangle
Kind of links in with No.2 here. But there is nothing wrong with a good old-fashioned love triangle. Who doesn’t want to be fought over by two good-looking people? Tell me you’ve never fantasised about exactly that. And that is the point of a book. To give you something to day-dream about. I know I wouldn’t have complained about having Stefan and Damon Salvatore vying for my affections…
4. The break-up
The main characters have gotten together and life is a bed of roses. Until it all goes horribly wrong and they have a big fight and suddenly they aren’t living happily ever after. Twilight sticks in my head for this one. But it’s still great, because it’s a reflection of how life actually is. People make up and break-up all the time. It’s good to know it happens to your favourite book characters too.
5. The good guy wins
Deep down I think we all like to believe that the good guy will always win. I mean, and I’m gonna point out here that I’ve never read a book where good didn’t beat the crap out of evil so if you know of one let me know, but what’s the point of good NOT winning? Just imagine for a second that Harry Potter didn’t beat the Dark Lord. My world imploded just trying to imagine that ending.
So, these are just a few of my favourite plots and yes, I’m aware that they are over-used and clichés, but I also think they are still great. And as long as you can put a new spin on an old classic, then I say use whatever storyline you like.