I love plot lines. I even have a notebook where I collect my favourite plot lines. I only have 70 plot lines mapped out but I am always making more.
The funny thing is that I don’t always use the plot lines that I’ve collected. Occasionally I will use the more well-known fairy tale plot lines or I may do a rewrite of a myth. However, the point of me collecting the plot lines is not specifically to use them.
The reason why I love plot lines is because I love how you can take one plot line and have 100 stories attached to it. Every writer would write a slightly different version of a plot if it was given to them. Well known examples of this phenomenon are found in every fairy tale remake.
For me, plot lines become more than just an idea of what to write, they become a challenge of how to make my stories stand out.
How many things can you include in your remake that aren’t in other versions? What can you change without changing the plot line? Maybe you think that Snow White should have been adopted or perhaps you think that Hercules got his super human strength from steroids.
Or maybe you tweak the plot to bring it more in line with the present. Sleeping Beauty wouldn’t have pricked her finger on a spinning wheel but she could have narcolepsy or a drug problem. Maybe Red Riding Hood takes the subway to Grandma’s house.
By already knowing how the plot will progress, you can worry more about the details and less about where the story is going.
Are there any plot lines you love to use? Or do you prefer to start your stories completely from scratch?