20 Master Plots and How to Build them, but Ronald B. Tobias, is a cornerstone of my plotting process. If you’ve read my posts on plotting, you’ll know that for every real subplot, I assign it a full plot arc and then map it to one of the plots in this book. I use this book to make sure that the plot is complete and that it follows the accepted form. Basically, that I don’t mess it all up. This book shouldn’t be used to make your work look like everyone else’s, though. This book should be used to as a jumping off point to take the accepted form and to find new and interesting takes on the old themes.
Dramatica: A New Theory of Story, by Melanie Anne Phillips and Chris Huntley is an interesting entry to this list because technically I haven’t read it. What I have read are the Dramatica help files, printed out and from begining to end, back when those were the only way to digest this information. If you get Dramatica, you could still do that, but it would be an annoying and you’d abuse a tree. It might be better just to spring for the kindle edition of this book. It explains the Grand Argument Theory of storytelling (if they still call it that), and how it applies to plotting a story, Dramatica style.
The next installment awaits...Slouching Towards Amazon: LTUE Post Mortem