7 Basic Story Plots

This set of stories comes from a talk given by Claire Martinsen on 14 July 2020 at Mill Road History Society.  There is a belief that all stories use only 7 basic plots. Claire explored whether those 7 plots could be found within Mill Road Cemetery

Overcoming the monster – where the hero sets of to defeat an antagonistic or evil force which threatens the hero/hero’s homeland. Examples of this genre: James Bond, Star Wars, The War of the Worlds. Nicholas Nickleby

St Andrew the Less – Phoebe Kirkup [who unfortunately did not defeat the evil force of drink]


Rags to Riches – where the poor hero aquires power, wealth or a  mate. Examples: Cinderella, Jane Eyre, Great Expectations, David Copperfield.

St Benet’s – John Moyes [have a look at the two other graves linked to this one to read about more of the Moyes family]


The Quest – where the hero and companions set out to acquire an important object or to get to a location.  They face temptations and other obstacles along the way. Examples: Watership Down, The Lord of the Rings, The Odyssey.

St Mary the Great – Arthur Cayley


Voyage and Return – where the hero goes to a strange land and after overcoming the threats it poses or learning important lessons, they return with experience.  Examples: Alice in Wonderland, Gone with the Wind, Peter Rabbit, The Hobbit

St Paul’s – Francis Fisher [also have a look at the life of daughter Agnes, and her link to the Hudson family – fascinating read also]


Comedy – light and humorous character with a happy or cheerful ending.  Examples: Four Weddings and a Funeral, Much Ado about Nothing, Twelfth Night

All Saints – Elijah Watts


Tragedy – the hero has a major character flow or makes a great mistake which is ultimately their undoing.  Their unfortunate end evokes pity and the fall of a fundamentally good character. Examples: Anna Karenina, Madame Bovary, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Romeo and Juliet

St Benet’s – Albert and Adelina Schule


Re-birth – an event forces the main character to change their ways and often become a better individual.  Examples: Pride and Prejudice, Ground Hog Day, The Secret Garden, A Christmas Carol

Holy Sepulchre – William Gallyon



Story Walks