of Modern Fiction Plots
Guest Columnist: Lucy Adams
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!
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
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 fiction.
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
The Invasion of Aliens
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
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.
Examples: Macbeth by William Shakespeare
#6 Life after Death
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
Pet Sematary by Stephen King
#7 Inventions and Scientific Research
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
niche 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 life?
stories carry a very interesting dramatic potential. The
relationship between endowed with reason robots and people
is a fertile soil for artistic conflicts.
Examples: Hyperion by Dan Simmons
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 contemporary fiction.
general, 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 J.R.R. Tolkien
about 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 college
essays 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.