What I Learned About My Novel from “20 Master Plots”

20 Master Plots: And How to Build Them

Of the 20 master plots defined in “20 Master Plots“, “The Third Dragon” fits best in the Quest Plot.  “The Third Dragon” is also a bit of an Escape Plot and a Maturation Plot, but Quest Plot fits best.

In the Quest Plot, the story is character driven rather than action driven.  It is the story of the character’s journey rather than a story about the journey itself (although the journey is important too).  An example of an action driven plot is the Adventure Plot.  Indiana Jones is a good example of an Adventure Plot.  Indiana Jones is on a quest but he does not change as a person like he would in a Quest Plot.

Tomis is the main character of my book and his character grows in “The Third Dragon” and the other books of The Dukarian Legacy.  Being that he grows up, this is how “The Third Dragon” is also like a Maturation Plot.  In a Maturation Plot, the character confronts issues which make him realize that he is no longer a child and has to grow up.  In “The Third Dragon” Tomis suffers his own father trying to kill him as well as the death of someone close to him.  He has to learn to cope with these terrible things in his life.

“The Third Dragon” is also a bit of an Escape Plot in that Tomis and other characters have to escape for their lives.  However, “The Third Dragon” isn’t solely about the escape since the characters do not need to escape until about half way through the book.

It seems to me that most fantasy novels are quest plots.  Although they are full of adventure, pure adventure is best for the big screen.  In reading a novel, we want to get close to the characters.  We want to feel what they feel and experience what they experience.  This can’t be done as well in an action driven plot as it can in a character driven plot.

“The Third Dragon” is also a tiny bit like a Mystery Plot.  The entire story revolves around a specific prophecy, which in turn involves Tomis.  Some characters think they know what the prophecy means while others try to figure it out.  But the characters are not spending the story trying to figure out the meaning of the prophecy (which they would do if it were a true Mystery Plot).  They, instead, are living its fulfillment, often without even realizing it.

When I first wrote “The Third Dragon” I didn’t feel like its plot was strong enough.  “20 Master Plots” helped me to make it better.  I refined the plot to keep the story from going everywhere at once by rearranging chapters, eliminating certain chapters, and inserting other chapters.

If you have written or will write a fantasy novel, “20 Master Plots” is a good source of ideas and a good way to make sure your book stays on track with a plot.

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