Somewhere in the mist, long ago, I came across a list of basic 3-act plot structures as explained in the traditional “Boy Meets Girl” meme; e.g.; Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl. I’m aware of a myriad of opinions on how many basic, essential plot structures exist in fiction (7? 24? 36?) often expressed as “dramatic situations” or “plot points.” This one's simply told a little... differently.
In the version I’m seeking, some of the basic premises are expressed (and I paraphrase from memory) as:
“Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, girl kills boy”
“Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy meets another girl.”
“Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy sacrifices self.”…etc.
—but I’ve never been able to rediscover that original Boy/Girl plot format.
Has anyone ever seen/heard of this particular list, or know where to find it? Thanks.
I'm not being useful here. In the "boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy meets girl" scenario, switching genders gives you the standard romance plot. The three changed versions are unfamiliar to me but the first lends itself to a crime novel, the second to a growing-up novel, and the third to an epic adventure. Thereby proving that basic plots adapt themselves to various genres.
Yeah, the "boy/girl" is very old school. It was basically a sophomoric way to describe the various plot scenarios... it might even have been a high-school or collegiate tutorial, a fun methodology to "keep things simple." But as I remember, the 30 or 40 variations were pretty accurate basic plot structures.