Writing Tips: Mike Wheeler

By Mike Wheeler

Unraveling the Threads: A Delightful Dive into the World of Plot Development

Ah, the art of storytelling! It’s a craft that has captivated audiences for centuries, weaving tales of love, loss, triumph, and everything in between. At the heart of every great story lies a well-developed plot, the backbone that keeps readers turning pages and viewers glued to their screens. In this delightful exploration, we’ll uncover the various types of plots that have stood the test of time and discover how they contribute to the magic of storytelling.

The Classic Hero’s Journey

Let’s begin with a fan favorite: the Hero’s Journey. This tried-and-true plot structure follows a protagonist as they embark on a grand adventure, facing challenges, overcoming obstacles, and ultimately emerging transformed. Think of the beloved Harry Potter series, where a young wizard discovers his true destiny and battles the forces of evil. Or perhaps the timeless tale of The Hobbit, where Bilbo Baggins reluctantly leaves his cozy hobbit hole to join a quest filled with dragons, treasure, and personal growth. The Hero’s Journey is a classic for a reason—it resonates with our innate desire for adventure and self-discovery.

Shakespearean Tragedy

Next up, we have the gut-wrenching world of tragedies. These plots are not for the faint of heart, as they often involve the downfall of a protagonist due to their own flaws or the cruelty of fate. Shakespeare was a master of this genre, penning tales like Romeo and Juliet, where star-crossed lovers meet a tragic end, and Macbeth, where ambition and power lead to destruction. In the realm of film, Requiem for a Dream is a haunting example, depicting the devastating consequences of addiction. Tragedies remind us of the fragility of the human condition and the importance of making wise choices.

Comedy’s Laughter Remedy

But fear not, dear reader! Not all plots are doom and gloom. Enter the delightful world of comedies, where laughter is the best medicine. These plots often revolve around misunderstandings, witty banter, and hilarious situations that keep audiences in stitches. The classic romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally showcases the ups and downs of friendship and love, while the cult favorite The Big Lebowski follows a laid-back bowler caught up in a bizarre kidnapping scheme. Comedies provide a much-needed escape from the stresses of reality and remind us of the power of humor.

Mysterious Thrills

For those who crave suspense and intrigue, mystery plots are the perfect fix. These stories keep readers guessing until the very end, as a detective or amateur sleuth unravels a perplexing crime or uncovers a long-buried secret. Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express is a prime example, where the brilliant Hercule Poirot must solve a murder aboard a luxurious train. In the world of film, Gone Girl keeps audiences on the edge of their seats as a missing persons case takes shocking twists and turns. Mystery plots satisfy our curiosity and challenge us to piece together the clues alongside the characters.

Romantic Emotional Rollercoasters

Ah, the sweet and sometimes turbulent world of romance! These plots tug at our heartstrings, following the journey of two people as they navigate the ups and downs of love. Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is a timeless classic, where the headstrong Elizabeth Bennet and the brooding Mr. Darcy overcome their initial disdain for each other and find true love. In the realm of film, The Notebook is a tearjerker that spans decades, chronicling the enduring love between Noah and Allie. Romance plots remind us of the power of love and the sacrifices we make for those we hold dear.

Adventurous Action

For adrenaline junkies, action and adventure plots deliver heart-pounding thrills and high-stakes excitement. These stories often involve daring heroes, exotic locations, and death-defying stunts. The Indiana Jones franchise is a classic example, following the intrepid archaeologist as he races against time to recover priceless artifacts and save the world from evil forces. The Fast and Furious series is another adrenaline-fueled franchise, where a crew of skilled drivers pull off high-octane heists and evade the law. Action and adventure plots provide a thrilling escape from the mundane and remind us of the exhilaration of living life on the edge.

Thought-Provoking Science Fiction

Science fiction plots transport us to worlds beyond our wildest dreams, exploring the implications of advanced technology, alien life, and dystopian futures. The Dune series by Frank Herbert is a masterpiece of the genre, set in a distant future where noble houses battle for control of a precious resource on a desert planet. The film Inception takes us on a mind-bending journey through the world of dreams, where a skilled thief must plant an idea in a target’s subconscious. Science fiction plots challenge us to consider the consequences of our actions and the potential of human ingenuity.

Spine-Chilling Horror

For those who dare to venture into the darkest corners of storytelling, horror plots offer a terrifying thrill ride. These stories prey on our deepest fears, featuring supernatural entities, twisted psyches, and the battle between good and evil. Stephen King’s The Shining is a masterclass in psychological horror, where a family’s stay at an isolated hotel takes a terrifying turn. The film A Quiet Place keeps audiences holding their breath, as a family navigates a post-apocalyptic world where deadly creatures hunt by sound. Horror plots remind us of the primal power of fear and the resilience of the human spirit.


From the epic adventures of the Hero’s Journey to the spine-tingling thrills of horror, plot development is a crucial element in the art of storytelling. Each type of plot offers a unique lens through which we can explore the human experience, evoking emotions, provoking thought, and captivating audiences. So the next time you crack open a book or settle in for a movie, take a moment to appreciate the intricate threads that weave together to create a compelling narrative. After all, it’s the magic of a well-crafted plot that keeps us coming back for more, eager to be transported to worlds beyond our own.

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