03 May 2008

Got Plot?

Today I saw a play called "The Last Five Years." It was an excellent musical about a man an a woman who fall in love, get married, fall out of love, and get divorced. So, how could such a standard plot be made original? The man's story went from the beginning of the relationship to the end, but the woman's went from the end to the beginning. All the songs were solos, except for one duet right in the middle of the play. Pretty cool, huh?

If the plot of a story you're working on feels tired, why not see if you can tell the story in a new way--like forwards and backwards at the same time!


Don said...

Funny story about this: Back in 2002, I played bass on an album which had "I'm a Part of That" as one of the songs in it. I wanted to see the musical if only to get some context for the song (my theory was it was a song sung by a mother of an autistic child). I finally saw it a couple years later. It was interesting, but a bit of a downer as I was recently married when I saw it with my wife.

As for the meat of the topic, some other thoughts on changing up a story: Change the sex of your protagonist. Change the POV character.

David E. Hughes said...

Wow--that's interesting, Don. The play had lots of great songs, none of which I'd heard before.

I can see how the play would be a downer for a newly married couple--but it didn't bother an old married couple like me and my wife. (PS told tell my wife I referred to us that way!)

ssas said...

I don't know that changing the sex of a protag would help much for me, but I am toying with the idea for a sequel for one of my books told by a secondary character.

I, however, editorially, am not in favor of plots that revolve around someone besides the protag (ie: all the action really lies with the prince; the story is told by a squire).

lesleylsmith said...

A love story is really tough to write in a non-standard way. Kudos to the creative folks behind 'The Last Five Years' for putting a new spin on things. I had been trying to think of a non-standard love story and all I could think of was: person meets person and they fall in love...and it turns out they're clones. Okay, it's stupid, but have you seen it before? :)