We’ve been exploring plot ideas this month. I think that putting a magnifying glass on plot is always a good idea. Characters are vital in a story, but plot is what holds it all together. It allows the characters to come to life – with challenges, unusual twists, new challenges.
To create a hybrid plot – or if you want to think of it as a love child of two disparate ideas – you can try the ‘X meets Y’ challenge, one often used in Hollywood to develop ‘high concept’ films – those summer blockbusters we all love.
For example, if you look at the ‘mashing up’ of comedy, horror, and sci-fi in the successful – if silly – Sharknado franchise, you could say it’s ‘Jaws meets Twister.’
Just for fun – Try this
Draw up three columns of three lines each. Now fill in the spaces with genres.
Then drop your pen on any three random genres and create a brief ‘concept’ or storyline. So maybe: romance, police procedural, gothic horror.
What it looks like on the page?
As a storm gathers from Cape Town, a gothic church in a small Karoo town is struck by fire. In the aftermath, the body of a young child is found. Small town policeman, Hans, discovers that the child is a missing persons case from 30 years ago. He has to work with Jana, a beautiful Cape Town clairvoyant, to solve the case, but finds himself attracted to her.
What did you come up with?
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