20 Master Plots: And How to Build Them

20 Master Plots: And How to Build Them

by Ronald B Tobias

Paperback(Third Edition)

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Overview

Give your story a solid foundation—a plot that engages readers from start to finish!

The best stories linger in the hearts and minds of readers for decades. These tales gain their power through plots that connect with the audience on both an emotional and intellectual level.

Inside Ronald B. Tobias details these 20 time-tested plots. Each is discussed and analyzed, illustrating how a successful plot integrates all the elements of a story. Tobias then shows you how to use these plots effectively in your own work.

Tobias then goes to the next level, showing you how to choose and develop plot in fiction. He shows you how to craft plot for any subject matter, so that you develop your work evenly and effectively. As a result, your fiction will be more cohesive and convincing, making your story unforgettable for readers everywhere.

"Plot isn't an accessory that conveniently organizes your material according to some ritualistic magic. You don't just plug in plot like a household appliance and expect it to do its job. Plot is organic. It takes hold of the writer and the work from the beginning."
Ronald Tobias

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781599635378
Publisher: F+W Media
Publication date: 01/12/2012
Edition description: Third Edition
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 269,649
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Ronald B. Tobias has spent his career as a writer moving from genre to genre, first as a short story writer, then as an author of fiction and nonfiction books and finally as a writer and producer of documentaries for public television. He is currently a professor in the Department of Media and Theatre Arts at Montana State University and the author of The Insider's Guide to Writing for Screen and Television. He lives in Bozeman, Montana.

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20 Master Plots and How to Build Them 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Plots, the 'how to' primer This is a book for the person who seriously wants to become a paid author. Ronald Tobias took on an incredibly, almost impossible task of distilling down an innumerable number of plots into a manageable twenty. As I came to the end of '20 Master Plots: and how to build them', I realized that Mr. Tobias, as a professional published writer, by taking the tremendous effort to write this book, clearly demonstrated sincere empathy for those new to the business. The challenge facing his left-brain readers, with the logical, linear and sequential cant given our dominate neurons, is that we could be trapped into reading good 'How-To' writing books like this, until old-age Parkinson's or Alzheimer's makes it physically impossible to begin our first effort. This 232 paged, large-font trade paperback, prepares us with five fast-moving explanatory chapters. We then plow into the twenty master plots: beginning with 'Quest' and ending with 'Ascension & Descension', leaving your reviewer-writer pondering if he will ever get a book published. As an actor, I am conditioned to reading plays and scripts and making what we call 'discoveries'. In '20 Master Plots', as I was dragging my eyes over the pages on 'Pursuit', my hi-liters remained in their hip-holsters, and I wondered if I would ever finish the stinking chapter. And later, eagerly reading, then re-reading, 'Master Plot #17: Discovery', where I used fluorescent yellows, pinks and blues to soak the pages, I understood that I would most likely not pound out a book rooted in the 'Pursuit' plot and more likely would become a best-selling author based on the aptly named 'Discovery' plot. Grin . And, likewise, if you should chose to read '20 Master Plots' you will endure slow and boring chapters and delight in fast and fun pages. If you are the type of beginning writer who seeks guidance in the area of plots, this book is certainly all you need.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Five Stars Writing help, how to type of subject matter Best for new writers of any genre This is the second writing book I have completed this year. I don’t have that many total under my belt. My reaction is WOW… Thank you for explaining the concept of plot, for distinguishing it from story in such a way that it finally clicks for me. Thank you for giving several examples and explanations. I had no issues understanding what was being taught. It was not vague. It was very specific and concise. A plot is not a story, but a character is plot. She is what she does. They are one in the same. He explains that concept in a way that you will understand it, even if you don’t agree with it. I’d give this book high marks for the beginning section alone. He dissects a few stories to show plot which is exactly what I need. Show me. Dissect it. Then the second half of the book expands on the two types of plots. Again, he breaks it down and gives examples from other stories and movies. He makes stories, plot, character, and the writing process seem poetic, utilizing unseen forces, almost magical. Yet he shows you how it is completely in your grasp. It is attainable. It is not elusive. He does not preach a specific way of going about creating your story or plot. That is not what this book does. He explains what they are. You think you know or at least I did. He describes it differently. A quick read of 231 pages on my Nook. He doesn’t waste time getting to the point. I like his ideas. I plan on referencing this book and using it going forward. As always, you’re reaction will be different. Sample it, borrow it. If you love it, buy it and leave a good review. I think this book would benefit any new fiction writers of any genre.
Guest More than 1 year ago
20 MASTER PLOTS (And How to Build Them), by Ronald B. Tobias, provides an interesting analysis of plot, in general, and then a chapter-by-chapter countdown of twenty specific master-plot scenarios. Whether you believe there are really only one or two basic plots upon which all stories are built, or whether you believe there are an infinite number of plots, 20 MASTER PLOTS is worth studying.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ever heard that all the stories are already told? Here they are. If you have a good story, you'll surely find its basic structure and the way to improve it here.
claude_lambert on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What is the difference between a plot and a story? What is the importance of developing a plot? What are the main characteristics of a quest? What do you have to be attentive to if you write the story of an underdog? These are interesting questions for a young writer, indeed for any reader. The book is fairly simple, full of examples and interesting to read. It is also deceptively simple. It is easy to think "I knew that" and much more difficult to practice it. Each chapter has a checklist that should help a student to write a better essay. There are lots of examples from classic literature. Of course one may consult many more complex and authoritative books, but I like this one because it really makes you think about your own project.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a book for the person who seriously wants to become a paid author. Ronald Tobias took on an incredibly, almost impossible task of distilling down an innumerable number of plots into a manageable twenty. As I came to the end of '20 Master Plots: and how to build them', I realized that Mr. Tobias, as a professional published writer, by taking the tremendous effort to write this book, clearly demonstrated sincere empathy for those new to the business. The challenge facing his left-brain readers, with the logical, linear and sequential cant given our dominate neurons, is that we could be trapped into reading good 'How-To' writing books like this, until old-age Parkinson's or Alzheimer's makes it physically impossible to begin our first effort. This 232 paged, large-font trade paperback, prepares us with five fast-moving explanatory chapters. We then plow into the twenty master plots: beginning with 'Quest' and ending with 'Ascension & Descension', leaving your reviewer-writer pondering if he will ever get a book published. As an actor, I am conditioned to reading plays and scripts and making what we call 'discoveries'. In '20 Master Plots', as I was dragging my eyes over the pages on 'Pursuit', my hi-liters remained in their hip-holsters, and I wondered if I would ever finish the stinking chapter. And later, eagerly reading, then re-reading, 'Master Plot #17: Discovery', where I used fluorescent yellows, pinks and blues to soak the pages, I understood that I would most likely not pound out a book rooted in the 'Pursuit' plot and more likely would become a best-selling author based on the aptly named 'Discovery' plot. Grin . And, likewise, if you should chose to read '20 Master Plots' you will endure slow and boring chapters and delight in fast and fun pages. If you are the type of beginning writer who seeks guidance in the area of plots, this book is certainly all you need.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This breaks the most commonn plots down into basic parts and offers some great examples on how each plot works for several major works.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Spend your money elsewhere