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The Complete Idiot's Guide® To Book Proposals & Query Letters by Coleen O'Shea, Marilyn Allen

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Elements of Fiction

Plots in fiction tend to reflect the human condition. Whether it’s the Jane Austen heroine who wins the upscale hero against all the conventions of her day or the dateless high school nerd who turns into Bill Gates, fiction reflects our hopes, dreams, and fears.
Even the most unusual or commercial plot fits into one or a combination of five very basic themes:
• Romeo and Juliet: Forbidden love that ends badly
• Cinderella: A rags-to-riches fairy tale (or love that ends well)
• King Kong: Good versus evil (with a little Romeo and Juliet thrown in)
• Odysseus: A journey of self-awareness
• The Fountain of Youth: A treasure hunt (may be metaphorical)
A plot is the storyline. It may show a glimpse of another world (think ...

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