structure and plot on the subway

I was sitting on the subway next to a man who was reading a book called Structure and Plot (or possibly Plot and Structure), so I peeked over his should to see if I could learn anything.

I learned:

  • writers should use plot and structure
  • some "literati"-type writers disdain plot, they think that plotting is something like slumming
  • those "literati"-type writers are wrong
  • there are two types of plots:
    • literary plots, and
    • commercial plots
  • literary plots involve somebody's internal journey, and they meander around to various points (the book included a helpful chart) until they come to:
    • a hopeful ending, or
    • a downbeat ending
  • commercial plots, on the other hand—

And that's when he closed the book and got off the train.

I suspect that, if there are only two kinds of plots, I must already be doing the "commercial plot" kind, since the diagram and description of the "literary plot" didn't seem to resemble anything that I do.

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