I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pondering packaging...and ketchup

This month I’ve been pondering packaging – where my new story idea fits in Susie May Warren’s list of six basic plots I learned about at the premiere Storycrafter’s Retreat:

Overcoming the monster: Hero on behalf of a greater good sets out to take on and slay some evil, deadly foe.

Rags to riches: Someone faces external obstacles of society or personal opposition, and the story ends with her finding the real “riches” within herself, and in the end, getting her dreams.

The great quest: The story’s about the journey, the friends made along the journey and how they band together to accomplish a task, win the treasure or the war.

Home again, home again: Stories about people leaving the world they know, being changed by the experience, and then taking those changes home and adapting them to their world.

Beast to beauty: About a person forces to go into a “prison” of some kind. They are finally redeemed by either an outside liberator, or by personal enlightenment.

A tragedy is a takeoff of this without the happy ending, the dream turns into a nightmare and they are destroyed.

See the light: the stories about people who are forced to re-examine who they are, or are in the middle of a misunderstanding, and they must find a new perspective to come through it and see the light.

How is it possible that all the stories ever written can basically be boiled down to six different categories and still be interesting?


I got a gift from a fellow ketchup lover this week. It’s little travel packets of ketchup, but instead of being the itty bitty squeeze packs you get at fast food restaurants, this packet is 3x as big, with the option to squeeze the ketchup out, or peel the top and dip your nuggets. Genius. Really. Why didn’t I invent this?

Yet, it’s still just ketchup.

This got me pondering…how can I package my story idea to make it unique and memorable, even though it will still fall into one of the six basic plots outlined above?

How about you, where does your plot fall? What makes it unique?

Happy pondering,



  1. Happy pondering? I wasn't pondering at all until I read your post! Now you've made me think.

    Oh!Oh! I know. My story is in the See the Light category! whew.
    Great post, Amy. Love the analogy of the ketchup. It is perfect.

  2. Pretty sure mine is a See the Light story too. :)

    Love the ketchup thing, Amy. Fun connection!!

  3. Thanks, I'm pretty sure mine is See the light, too! Unless I finesse it into something else. Maybe I will over chicken nuggets and ketchup for lunch!

  4. I'm pondering the same thing! Which is why I'm going to storycrafters!

  5. Oh ... now I'm pondering my story (which I've been doing for weeks, weeks,weeks) and also pondering where I can get this nifty ketchup packets.

    My WIP is a combo: Beast to beauty/See the light.

  6. My buddy got those packets at Walmart. I'm telling you, check them out!

    Jennie, I hope I can see you when you are in town for Storycrafters!!!!

  7. I'm starting a new story during NaNo. I believe it's a cross between See the Light and Beast Into Beauty. Love this post, Ames.

    What makes my post unique is my own voice. :D

  8. Very helpful review, Ames. My new one will be The Great Quest (a historical, no less), but this is helpful. Wishing you & sprout well.

  9. My story is See the Light too. I think there's a lot on my personal journey God wants to reveal to me, so my characters must need to re-examine who they are or find a new perspective too. He teaches me a lot through my writing. Thanks for the fun post!