1. lustrousonion
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    lustrousonion Contributing Member

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    Paulo Coelho Says

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by lustrousonion, Feb 12, 2015.

    Paulo Coelho says, "There are only four types of stories: lovestory between 2 people, lovestory between 3 people, a struggle for power, and a journey."

    Yea or nay? Do you think most stories can be organized into one of these categories? Would you add a category?
     
  2. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    There are certainly a limited number of basic plots. The actual number seems to vary with each person I see listing them.
     
  3. Jenurik Name
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    Jenurik Name Member

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    I say yes. But it isn't as extreme a claim as it sounds, because after all, the definitions of the last two categories are incredibly broad and ill-defined. The Will to Power can cover anything. Rebellion against the empire, struggle against nature, internal conflict, a There-Will-Be-Blood type story, etc. Journey can be physical, metaphysical, mental, can stand in for the character arc, etc.

    I think it's clear he intentionally worded it so that it's very broad.
     
  4. Gawler
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    Gawler Contributing Member

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    So why have a love story between 2 people and a love story between 3 people as separate categories? Just have a love story as its own category.
     
  5. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Let's not forget about love squares and love pentagons.

    To answer your question, I say nay. What about something like Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury?
     
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  6. Ms. DiAnonyma
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    Ms. DiAnonyma Active Member

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    Yeah, lets just consolidate the romance section... there's always something(s) (if not exactly another lover) to make it a polygon, no?
    Sounds plausible to me, but perhaps "chronicle" should be added? (maybe journey explains The Sound and the Fury?... how structured does the concept "journey" have to be? Even the progress of a romance is a "journey" through hearts and experiences... For that matter, journey could potentially describe anything).
     
  7. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    I know this describes conflict rather than plot, but conflict is essentially the core of any plot: (wo)man against man; man against himself, or; man against nature.

    Is that all of them?
     
  8. Ben414
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    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Man against God. Also, some people have been including man against technology.
     
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  9. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    I always kind of pooled God in with nature. Technology I like though.
     
  10. lustrousonion
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    lustrousonion Contributing Member

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    It seems to me that Coelho means conflict when he says "struggle" here, and that while love and journey stories might contain struggles, it isn't their main function/plot driver. A part of me likes this, and a part of me rebels against it. Of course stories need conflict, one side of my brain says; but when I reflect on some of my favorite stories, they tend to be low on conflict. I like stories where events and experiences sort of fold open rather than batter you with conflict. But I also despise stories that are so low on conflict and plotting that I feel like I'm reading someone's diary. It's a tricky line.
     
  11. theoriginalmonsterman
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    theoriginalmonsterman Pickle Contest Administrator Contributor

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    Well you can define almost every story as a journey, so if you can't define the story by the first 3 types it would fall under Journey unless the story was about sitting in a chair staring at a wall.
     
  12. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I have read a few of Coelho's books and have found the man to have the most dextrous anus I have ever encountered in a human. That he should be able to speak so eloquently from it amazes.
     

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