Suppose then you have an story in your mind. Then, to write down this finite series of events, you have to translate your imagination into the paper. This process isn't trivial, of course and plot are just one of the "underlying structures" you may want (or, in most of the cases, should have) to use.

Now, again, suppose then you have an story in your mind; is the story of a hero(ine). You, then, write your story with the aid of, for instance, Blake Snyder beat sheet [1] and nothing more.

Now, by definition, you have a particular plot structure on your story. But, as a some sort of "definition" of a hero(ine) story, you can in fact point out a hero's journey plot structure as well (I think). So, the writer used [1] but the story also have, "canonically", the hero's journey structure.

My question is: suppose that you have a story which you wrote with the aid of a plot structure A. But you realize that and another plot structure B could be used as well. The story must be independent of plot structure (Just like a physical phenomena must be independent of reference frame)?

[1] https://chsenglishap4.weebly.com/uploads/2/2/5/7/2257880/blakesnyderbeatsheet-explained.pdf

  • What's your question? Are you asking how to integrate a second "plot structure" (whatever that is) into an existing one? If so, are you talking about the specific plotting tool you mentioned, or how to do that into an already written story? (And, if the latter, I don't see how the exact plotting tool is relevant to the question of translating plot into story. It makes the whole question seem rather spammy to me. Unless absolutely needed - because you're asking about the tool - I'd advise you to remove the reference/link.)
    – Llewellyn
    Oct 19, 2019 at 11:56

2 Answers 2


Every story is different (or it is just plagiarism); "plot structures" come from generalizing stories and the types of events that occur in them.

There are serious analysts that claim there are only three plot structures, and sure enough you can jam every kind of story into them. Others claim there are 12, or 21, or 32 plots.

A story and its plot is like the flesh on a skeleton. The story is not independent of the plot structure, just like my body is not independent of my skeleton. Without my skeleton, I'd be as shapeless (and dead) as a bag of liquid.

It may be that my body shape could be supported by other, very similar skeletons: My brother's skeleton; my father's (As a teen I looked like a twin of my father at the same age, in nearly every photo, it's kind of eerie to see yourself in the past like that).

The same thing for stories. If you generalize enough (lose enough detail) you can claim their are only 12 kinds of passenger cars on the road, but that doesn't make the car (=story) independent of its classification as pickup truck (=plot). It still has to do certain things and work in a certain way in order to be considered a pickup truck, and those are different than cars classified as "sports car".

The story is not independent of the plot.


I would say Plot Structures are narrative models. They can be used in writing, editing, and critiquing plots. I see no reason for them to be mutually exclusive from each other if the goal is providing a way to think about sequences of events. That means that many plot structures could easily apply to your story.

For example, I may realize that I've built up a mystery subplot, but the reveal isn't very satisfying. So I would look for structures/models for mystery plots and use them to diagnose why my story is misfiring (am I missing a step? Or did I give too much information?)

Personally, I gave up on using plot structures to draft stories; the addditional process makes the events feel too predictable and it kills my creativity. I do use them in editing though. Once everything is on the page, I find it makes more sense for me to refer back to the models as a goal so I can add more emphasis to one thing, repurpose another scene, etc.

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