The seven basic stories, part 2

A few weeks ago I started a list of the seven basic stories. My examples came from Scott Abel at the Content Marketing Retreat. But you can recognize the classic plots in movies, television shows, novels, plays and other stories.

You can find the first four basic storylines here.

Here are the other three storylines.

5. Rags to riches

The main character slowly blossoms from youth to maturity, gains riches and the perfect mate, or goes from obscurity to fame. Think about Cinderella, David Copperfield, Aladdin  or  Jane Eyre.

Surrounded by dark forces who suppress and ridicule him, the Hero slowly blossoms into a mature figure who ultimately gets riches, a kingdom, and the perfect mate.

In this video for Chrysler, a father tells the story of his son’s success.

6. Tragedy

Not all stories have a happy ending. The tragedy may come from the main character’s tragic flaw, moral weakness or inability to cope. Examples include Macbeth, Carmen, Bonnie and Clyde, Anna Karenina and Caesar.

Here’s a first aid advertisement from St. John Ambulance, with an unexpected ending.

7. Comedy

There are many variations on the comedy plot line, from Aristophanes to Oscar Wilde. It often involves a complex set of problems that are miraculously resolved. It may be satire, irony or simply making fun of something.

Comedy can be a way to deal with a touchy subject, as in this Kotex video.