May 28, 2013

Polti’s Perennial Plot Points

Feeling at a loss for how to create conflicts in your story?  Georges Polti, a French writer and critic, comes to the rescue with his own list of dramatic categories seen in any kind of story.  

Here’s the rundown (36 points in all):

1. Supplication:
Ingredients:
·         Persecutor
·         Suppliant
·         Power of Authority (PoA)


How it works:
The persecutor accuses the suppliant, and the PoA judges against the suppliant.

2.  Deliverance:
Ingredients:
·         Unfortunate
·         Threatener
·         Rescuer
How it works:
The unfortunate has caused conflict, the threatener wants to pursue justice, but the rescuer comes to help the unfortunate.

3.  Crime Pursued By Vengeance:
Ingredients:
·         Criminal
·         Avenger
How it works:
Avenger takes justice in his/her own hands to punish criminal.

4.  Vengeance – Kin Upon Kin:
Ingredients:
·         Guilty Kinsman (GK)
·         Avenging Kinsman (AK)
·         Victim
How it works:
GK and AK are in conflict over the victim who’s related to both.

5.  Pursuit:
Ingredients:
·         Punishment
·         Fugitive
How it works:
The fugitive runs away from the punishment for a misunderstood conflict.

6. Disaster:
Ingredients:
·         Vanquished Power (VP)
·         Victorious Enemy (VE) or Messenger (M)
How it works:
The VP falls from grace after being defeated by VE or alerted of such fall by M.

7.  Falling Prey to Cruelty/Misfortune:
Ingredients:
·         Unfortunate (U)
·         Master or Misfortune (M)
How it works:
The unfortunate suffers at the hands of M.

8.  Revolt:
Ingredients:
·         Tyrant
·         Conspirator
How it works:
Conspirator plots against the tyrant.

9.Daring Enterprise:
Ingredients:
       Bold Leader
      Object
      Adversary
How it works:
Bold leader takes an object from adversary.


10.  Abduction:
Ingredients:
·         Abductor
·         Abducted
·         Guardian
How it works:
Abductor kidnaps Abducted from the guardian.

11.  The Enigma:
Ingredients:
·         Problem
·         Interrogator
·         Seeker
How it works:
Interrogator poses a problem to the seeker who must resolve it.

12.  Obtaining:
Ingredients:
·         Solicitor
·         Adversary
·         Object
How it works:
The solicitor is against the adversary who owns an object he/she desires.



13.  Enmity of Kin:
Ingredients:
·         Malevolent Kinsman (MK)
·         Hated Kinsman (HK)
How it works:
MK and HK conspire together.

14.  Rivalry of Kin:
Ingredients:
·         Preferred Kinsman (PK)
·         Rejected Kinsman (RK)
·         Object
How it works:
The object of rivalry chooses the PK over the RK.

15.  Murderous Adultery:
Ingredients:
·         Adulterer 1 (A1)
·         Adulterer 2 (A2)
·         Betrayed Spouse
How it works:
A1 and A2 conspire to kill the Betrayed Spouse.

16.  Madness:
Ingredients:
·         Madman
·         Victim
How it works:
The madman goes insane and wrongs the victim.

17.  Fatal Imprudence:
Ingredients:
·         Imprudent
·         Victim or Object Lost
How it works:
The imprudent loses the object or wrongs the victim.
 
Forbidden Love by Tyshea
18. Involuntary Crimes Of Love:
Ingredients:
·         Loved
·         Beloved
·         Revealer
How it works:
Revealer betrays the trust of the lovers.

19.  Slaying Of Kin Unrecognized:
Ingredients:
·         Slayer
·         Unrecognized Victim (UV)
How it works:
Slayer kills the UV.

20.  Self-Sacrifice For An Ideal:
Ingredients:
·         Hero
·         Ideal
·         Creditor
·         Person/Thing Sacrificed
How it works:
The Hero sacrifices a person/thing to the creditor.

21.  Self-Sacrifice For Kin:
Ingredients:
·         Hero
·         Kinsman
·         Creditor
·         Person/Thing Sacrificed
How it works:
The Hero sacrifices the thing/person for their kinsman, which is then taken by the creditor.

22.  All Sacrificed For Passion:
Ingredients:
·         Lover
·         Object of Fatal Passion (OFP)
·         Person/Thing Sacrificed
How it works:
A lover sacrifices a thing or someone for the OFP, which is then lost forever.

23.  Necessity of Sacrificing Loved Ones:
Ingredients:
·         Hero
·         Beloved Victim (BV)
·         Necessity for the Sacrifice
How it works:
The Hero wrongs the BV because of the need to sacrifice them.

24.  Rivalry of Superior vs. Inferior:
Ingredients:
·         Super Rival (SR)
·         Inferior Rival (IR)
·         Object of Rivalry
How it works:
A SR bests an IR and wins the Object of Rivalry.



25.  Adultery:
Ingredients:
·         Adulterer 1 (A1)
·         Adulterer 2 (A2)
·         Deceived Spouse
How it works:
A1 and A2 conspire against the deceived spouse.

26.  Crimes of Love:
Ingredients:
·         Lover
·         Beloved
How it works:
Lover and Beloved enter into a conflict.

27.  Discovery of the Dishonor of a Loved One:
Ingredients:
·         Discoverer
·         Guilty Party
How it works:
The Discoverer finds out about the Guilty Party’s wrongdoings.

28.  Obstacles To Love:
Ingredients:
·         Lover 1 (L1)
·         Lover 2 (L2)
·         Obstacle
How it works:
L1 and L2 face an obstacle together.

29.  An Enemy Loved:
Ingredients:
·         Lover
·         Beloved Enemy (BE)
·         Hater
How it works:
The Lover and Hater are allied but have opposite views on the BE.

30.  Ambition:
Ingredients:
·         Ambitious Person (AP)
·         Thing Coveted
·         Adversary
How it works:
The AP seeks the thing coveted but must first face the Adversary.

31.  Conflict With A God:
Ingredients:
·         Mortal
·         Immortal
How it works:
Mortal and Immortal are in a conflict.

32.  Mistaken Jealousy:
Ingredients:
·         Jealous One (JO)
·         Object Of Whose Possession JO is Jealous
·         Supposed Accomplice (SA)
·         Cause or Author of Mistake
How it works:
The JO misinterprets the cause or the mistake, and becomes jealous of the SA over the Object’s possession.

33.  Erroneous Judgment:
Ingredients:
·         Mistaken One (MO)
·         Victim of the Mistake
·         Guilty One
·         Cause or Author of Mistake
How it works:
The MO misinterprets the cause/mistake and passes judgment on the Victim when it should be passed on the Guilty One instead.

34.  Remorse:
Ingredients:
·         Culprit
·         Victim or the Sin
·         Interrogator
How it works:
The culprit wrongs the Victim or commits a sin, and goes against the interrogator who seeks the truth.



35.  Recovery Of A Lost One:
Ingredients:
·         Seeker
·         One Found
How it works:
Seeker finds the One Found.

36.  Loss Of Loved Ones:
Ingredients:
·         Slain Kinsman (SK)
·         Kinsman Spectator (KS)
·         Executioner
How it works:
The killing of the SK by the Executioner is witnessed by the KS.

Hope this helped you get ideas for your stories!

Sources:

No comments:

Post a Comment