of Modern Fiction Plots
Guest Columnist: Lucy Adams
Have you ever
thought about the perspectives of the development of new fantastic
ideas? I bet you did, and therefore, you know how complicated the
whole process is and how hard it is to come up with something original
and unique, something that was never used before.
why I want to share with you the ideas that have already been used
by both great and mediocre authors. I do not call you to copy one
of them, but I hope this list will help you to think out of the
box and finally, come up with a unique cash-making idea!
From time to
time, I read fiction based on immortal heroes and villains. Or the
notorious immortality is the object of desire of the conflicting
parties. One of the most common dramatic motifs here is the opposition
between the immortal hero and the mortal world or a strong desire
to be rid of his burden.
Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny, The Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson
bloodsuckers that hate sunlight, crucifixes, and garlic, have long
been regulars at the bookshelves. For many decades, the reader admires
horror adventures of the night murderers, while the writers continue
to exploit the subject, offering numerous options from romantic
women's stories to urban fantasy and apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic
there are so many books about vampires that it’s almost impossible
to come up with something original. There is always a serious risk
that the new book will drown in the bottomless abyss of bloody sagas.
The Scar by China Miéville, I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
The Invasion of Aliens
This is a quite
interesting but very clichéd theme. Of course, the starting
point is the famous "War of the Worlds" by H.G. Wells.
By and large, this theme lies at the core of any work about the
war where one nation attacks another one’s territory. This
kind of stories is a ready-made basis for a sci-fi thriller of any
direction and entourage.
Anathem by Neal Stephenson
Genetic Experiments and Mutations
the subject that is covered by a huge number of authors, but which,
nevertheless, still carries significant potential. The topic managed
to produce numerous comics, films and books about superheroes –
these all exists already for more than half a century and will continue
to grow. Undoubtedly, this niche is one of the primary motives in
the development of modern prose fiction.
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, Dune by Frank Herbert
The Agreement with the Evil
Here all is
quite simple and transparent: our hero, a man possessed of some
strong desire (to become rich or successful, to save a loved one),
but do not have objective possibilities to carry it out, makes a
deal with the dark forces. Of course, he is not aware of the seriousness
of the situation, but he will need to pay the bills, whether he
likes it or not. In the end, the protagonist becomes a victim.
This plot is primarily interested due to the conflict of parties:
it is always intriguing how the debtor will extricate himself from
a difficult situation, where his life is at stake.
Macbeth by William Shakespeare
#6 Life after Death
The topic lies
at the borders of prose fiction, thrillers, and horror. There are
quite a lot of variations you can use, from the resurrection of
any of the characters to their misadventures in the afterlife. When
choosing this direction, I recommend you always to ask yourself
whether these fantastic assumptions are necessary for the expression
of the main idea of the work. Are you sure you want someone to be
resurrected? What this will help to convey to the readers?
Pet Sematary by Stephen King
#7 Inventions and Scientific Research
This is another
endless bunch of ideas that will give authors food for thought for
centuries. After all, we can’t stop the technological progress.
Every year there appears something new, and authors’ imagination
progresses as well! New inventions give birth to new stories and
sometimes even new areas in the literature. I believe this direction
has a very high potential.
Orphans of the Sky by Robert A. Heinlein
is a logical extension of the previous one. However, stories about
robots, cyborgs, and other artificial intelligence have become so
popular that they now represent a separate direction. But what will
happen when smart mechanisms become an integral part of our everyday
carry a very interesting dramatic potential. The relationship between
endowed with reason robots and people is a fertile soil for artistic
Examples: Hyperion by Dan Simmons
So it turns
out that the quest is the most common and probably the most successful
idea of all times, starting from the myths of the ancient world
with their search for the Golden Fleece and ending with a brilliant
the quest plot is very close to the folk tales. There, too, the
basis of the action is the search for the missing or a difficult
and perilous trip to distant lands for a certain artifact. So I
won’t be mistaken if say that quests will inspire new generations
of readers for many more years. Moreover, they are perfectly combined
with any other fantastic assumptions.
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, Lord of the Rings by
the plot based on a man destined to save the world? The main feature
is that the construction of the plot around the Messiah almost always
puts the narrative into the category of epic. After all, we cannot
limit ourselves to a simple description of how the Savior spilled
coffee on himself at breakfast?. The presence of the Savior required
much more praise! So be sure to carefully consider all nuances before
undertaking such a plot.
Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold
Adams is a blogger from BuzzEssay, a home for
for students. Feel free to share your intriguing ideas with
Lucy and get a high-quality paper in return. She’s very responsive
and open-hearted, so be sure, you’ll get a fast and grounded
response to each and every request. Lucy is a generalist, and she
never limits herself to covering narrowly-focused themes.