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Genre Recap Part 2 of 2

We will continue with four basic characters: heroic Dick, love interest Sally, complicated friend Jane, and villain Ted.

8. If we choose a Mystery skeleton and subgenre, Dick becomes the sleuth and Sally is his love interest distracting him from solving the case. Ted is the person most invested in keeping the mystery from being solved, the perpetrator, or someone attempting to derail Dick's crime solving career. Jane can be Dick's ally or enemy.

Check out the Mystery Build A Plot Workbook in print and e-book.

There are free crime, suspect, and victim profile worksheets available on my website.

9. If we choose a Road Trip skeleton, Dick sets off on a journey with Sally, Jane, and Ted. They can be co-travelers or people Dick meets along the way. It isn't so much the end destination that matters and what Dick learns along the way. The journey can be dramatic or hilarious.

Check out the Road Trip Build A Plot Workbook in print and e-book

10. If we choose a Romance skeleton and subgenre, Dick is the love interest (in most cases). Sally is the one looking for love. Jane can be a rival or a supportive friend. Ted can be a rival or the one most intent on keeping the couple apart for reasons of his own.

Check out the Romance Build A Plot Workbook in print and e-book.

11. If we choose a Science Fiction story skeleton and subgenre, Dick is the one in charge of restoring cosmic balance. He can be a starship captain, a research scientist, a rocket engineer, or astronaut. Sally's concerns for Dick keep him from fully concentrating on the problem. Ted is the person or alien providing the cosmic challenge. Jane helps or hinders.

Check out the Science Fiction Build A Plot Workbook in print and e-book.

12. If we choose a Team Victory story skeleton, Dick is the underdog who needs the win. Sally can be frustrated with Dick's need to keep trying. Jane can be a teammate, coach, or sponsor. Ted is the competing side's pro, coach, or person determined to see Dick fail.

Check out the Team Victory Build A Plot Workbook in print and e-book.

13. If we choose a Thriller and Suspense story skeleton and subgenre, Dick becomes the spy who must stop the Ted from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Jane aids Dick but secretly works with Ted. Sally is kidnapped by Ted to add tension.

Check out the Thriller and Suspense Build A Plot Workbook in print and e-book

14. If we choose a Western story skeleton and subgenre, Dick heads out to the Wild West to build a home or tame the town. Sally is the desirable widow. Jane is the harlot with the heart of gold. Ted is the evil land baron, corrupt official, or Indian chief determined to drive Dick out of town.

Check out the Western Build A Plot Workbook in print and e-book 

A single idea can spawn many stories. If you are confused about what type of story you wish to tell, running them through the different skeletons and subgenres can provide an answer and guide you in sculpting the idea into a story that will be pleasing to the reader. Most readers won't wade through a story when the synopsis reads like a tangled ball of yarn. Being able to tease out the main thread and present it in an intriguing way sells books.

Skeletons offer starting points. There are stereotypical stories and ones that reinvent existing genres. There are no limits to where your imagination can take us. Book addicts just ask for a solid story free of plot holes and confusing threads. The more immersive the journey, the more we will love you for it.

Stay tuned to Game On!. In 2018, we will look at various elements of world building and revisions.

For more about how to craft plots using conflict check out, Story Building Blocks: The Four Layers of Conflict available in print and e-book and check out the free tools and information about the series on my website.

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