Thursday, September 25, 2008

Telling Tales
Stories twist and turn through our lives like snakes. As toddlers, they are read to us, at the movies we watch them, and on the playground we hear at least a dozen a day. But where do stories come from? The starting point (or plot) is the sequence of events that happen in every story. Every story can be reduced to one of seven basic plots, no matter where, when or by whom they were written. The seven plots and some examples are below:

1. Character vs. Nature Stories like Robinson Crusoe, Lord of the Flies and The Perfect Storm

2. Character vs. Character Stories like Othello, and David and Goliath

3. Character vs. Enviroment Stories like Oliver Twist, The Canterbury Tales and Cinderella

4. Character vs. God Stories like The Odyssey, Moby Dick and The book of Job

5. Character vs. Supernatural Stories like Ghostbusters and Harry Potter

6. Character vs. Self Stories like The Bell Jar, The Catcher in the Rye or Finding Nemo

7. Character vs. Machine Stories like The Iron Giant, Watership Down or I,Robot

Where does your favorite book fit into this list? Need a challenge? Try and come up with a different plot that doesn't fit into the list!

Michele, Children's Librarian

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