Try Making Plot Archetypes!:

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It's easy, mmkay?
Try making plot archetypes! See how much of fiction you can encompass!

  • Plot V:A V story involves a protagonist who notices that they are in a trap, tries to get out of it or inform others, and as a result triggers the trap, causing it to close, destroying them. Less idealistic dystopian fiction tends to be Plot V.
  • Plot W:A W story is the primordial ooze of storytelling. Its intent is almost always primarily comedic, and often Status Quo Is God. Characters are designed to create good, amusing chemistry with each other, and not to fit into one specific plot. Other plots will often occur, but of course the effects will snap back because Status Quo Is God. Most sitcoms are W.
  • Plot X:An X story is about the corruption of the protagonist. There are essentially four characters in an Xian story, though any of these character groups can include more than one person or can include concepts rather than literal people.
    • The Xian Protagonist is motivated by his desire to have a relationship with the Xian Love Interest, which the Decoy Antagonist stands in the way of.
    • The Xian Love Interest can have any or no motivation. They exist purely as a carrot for the protagonist to follow. Their motivations might be elaborated on, but they don't drive the story themselves.
    • The Decoy Antagonist stands in the way of the Xian Protagonist obtaining the Xian Love Interest. Like the Xian Love Interest, their motivation is not the drive of the story, though it might exist.
    • The Corrupting Influence Antagonist is motivated by the desire to corrupt the Xian Protagonist. Like Mephistopheles, they will present oppurtunities for the Xian Protagonist to succeed at their goals, at the cost of their moral principles. In the end, the CIA will often back up on their deal and will prevent the Xian Protagonist from obtaining the Xian Love Interest.
  • Plot Y:A Y story is like an X story crossed with a Z story. The Yish protagonist will start to be corrupted by the CIA, but will realize his error in due time and will repent for his actions, destroying the CIA. Often, this will lead to the Yish protagonist achieving his goals, but returning to the position where he started is often enough.
  • Plot Z:A Z story involves a protagonist that sees an antagonist and destroys them, to punish them for their evil actions and/or to protect others from them. The focus of a Z story is on the fight between the protagonist's faction with the antagonist's faction. The antagonist will often represent some mindset that the author disagrees with.

Sometimes, a story mixes several plots, or has different characters undergo different plots. For example, Harry Potter is mainly a Plot Z story with a Plot W background, but the character of Severus Snape undergoes a Plot Y over the course of the story.
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