Sometime along the way in most of our education travels we learn that there are but seven topics for stories. The list put together by Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch (1863-1944) has been taught for years and seem as appropriate today as they did many years ago.
1. Man against man
2. Man against nature
3. Man against himself
4. Man against God
5. Man against society
6. Man caught in the middle
7. Man and woman
Interesting to note that Quiller-Couch wrote under the pen name of Q. I like it. Quiller-Couch also is credited with this, something every writer has heard.
If you here require a practical rule of me, I will present you with this: ‘Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it—whole-heartedly—and delete it before sending your manuscript to press. Murder your darlings.
In 2004 Christopher Booker, an Englishman like Quiller-Couch published his – The Seven Basic Plots and has a new, maybe more modern look, at story plot possibilities. Reportedly Booker worked on his list for more than 30 years.
1. Overcoming the Monster
2. Rags to riches
3. The Quest
4. Voyage and return
Might be easy to place everything I have written or read into one of the two lists. So what about those that write westerns or historical fiction? Famed western author and screenwriter Frank Gruber listed, again, seven plot lines for westerns.
1. Union Pacific Story
2. Ranch Story
3. Empire story
4. Revenge story
5. Cavalry and Indian story
6. Outlaw story
7. Marshal story
Gruber also said that dialogue should be used to move the plot through the story.
I find it both interesting and gratifying to know that everything does not change too fast. Long live the western, after all, it follows the same plot lines as every other kind of fiction.
-Today's photos from our backyard gardens.-
Keep on reading and keep on writing and remember the weekend is not too far away.