That there are a finite number of basic plots from which all other stories are formed is accepted as fact by many literary theorists: Georges Polti, for instance, believes that there are thirty-six dramatic situations, while Ronald Tobias believes there to be only twenty.
The Internet Public Library has compiled together the most commonly accepted lists of “basic” plots: one, three, seven, twenty or thirty-seven different plots, depending on which definition you subscribe to.
- Overcoming the Monster
- Rags to Riches
- The Quest
- Voyage and Return