''An attempt to enumerate the Ur-plots...''

What qualifies a plot as a Master Plot? Hard to say. Let's take Tobias' list as a kicking off point. He contends there are twenty basic stories. Any of these can be used in any genre.

# '''Quest''': A character-driven story that has a [[TheHerosJourney hero go on a journey]] for something that changes him in some way.
# '''Adventure''': A plot-driven story that focuses on reaching a series of goals.
# '''Pursuit''': TheChase plot, very action oriented.
# '''Rescue''': A RescueArc as the main story, also very action oriented.
# '''Escape''': A GreatEscape plot, similar to the Rescue, except the captive rescues himself/herself.
# '''The Riddle''': Basic Mystery plot revolving around a DrivingQuestion.
# '''Rivalry''': Character-oriented story based on the interactions of two opposing characters, TheHero and TheRival.
# '''Underdog''': A story where the UnderdogsNeverLose. Revolves around an underdog (maybe they are underprivileged, poor, disabled, etc.) who triumphs despite overwhelming odds.
# '''Temptation''': The story revolves around whether or not to give into a temptation and the consequences, Pandora Box-like.
# '''Metamorphosis''': A story revolving around a physical transformation of some kind, generally a true {{Metamorphosis}} is a one-way street.
# '''Transformation''': A story revolving around an inner-change, rather than a physical one.
# '''Maturation''': A ComingOfAgeStory, where the a character matures physically, emotionally or spiritually.
# '''Love''': Your basic BoyMeetsGirl RomanceArc, with two characters falling in love as the main story.
# '''Forbidden Love''': StarCrossedLovers who spend most of the plot trying to be together despite the world trying to tear them apart.
# '''Sacrifice''': Revolves around a characters and their sacrifices, [[HeroicSacrifice lethal]] or otherwise.
# '''Discovery''': A story that unearths those skeletons in a characters MysteriousPast.
# '''Wretched Excess''': Story where the character is in a downward spiral from drugs, greed, depression, insanity, etc.
# '''Vengeance''': Your basic {{Revenge}} story, very character-driven.
# '''Ascension''': Follows a character's rise to power.
# '''Descension''': Like-wise to Ascension, follows a character fall from power.

''from: Tobias, Ronald B. 20 Master Plots. Cincinnati: Writer's Digest Books, 1993. (ISBN 0-89879-595-8)''

Compare Booker's ''TheSevenBasicPlots''.
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