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Q: Isaac Asimov's Storylines ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Isaac Asimov's Storylines
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Books and Literature
Asked by: vigilare-ga
List Price: $3.00
Posted: 23 Aug 2002 22:10 PDT
Expires: 22 Sep 2002 22:10 PDT
Question ID: 58022
I remember reading somewhere that Isaac Asimov once said that there
are only XXX storylines in the world and all fiction is written from
those variations.  How many storylines did he say there were, and what did he
believe them to be?
Subject: Re: Isaac Asimov's Storylines
Answered By: jeremymiles-ga on 24 Aug 2002 07:50 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
I didn't find any evidence that it came from Asimov, although he might
have said it at some point.  It is often clained that there are only N
plots in literature/novels, however the number N varies, with 7 being
the most common.

These pages claim that there are only 7 plots:

The following page lists the basic plots, given that there are 1, 3,
7, 20 or 36:

Search strategy:
only 7 plots novel
only seven plots novel
Asimov "5 plots"
Asimov "five plots"

Please feel free to request clarification.

vigilare-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
Not exactly what I was looking for, but you took me in some
interesting directions that I hadn't forseen.  Thanks!

Subject: Re: Isaac Asimov's Storylines
From: pinkfreud-ga on 24 Aug 2002 13:27 PDT
There is a nice elaboration of the Polti storyline concept here:

This is specifically designed as a creative aid for science fiction
writers. Clicking on each of the "dramatic situations" takes you to a
detailed set of sub-headings related to each "plot." It isn't Asimov,
but it does have an SF slant.

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