Basic Story Plots- Revenge

Basic Story Plots- Revenge

There comes a time in every writer’s life where you’re about to start another project and you’re faced with a tough question: Which plot am I going with? Is your new project an adventure? A Romeo and Juliet story about a forbidden love? Something else? Or maybe you’re experiencing symptoms of that dirty bitch named Writer’s Block.

Either way, welcome to the first installment of Pen and Muse’s Basic Story Plots project. Each week we want to introduce you to a different plot point. Hopefully we can help and be that swift kick in the inspiration booty that you need.  It doesn’t matter if this is your 50th novel, your first novel, or your very first flash fiction. If there’s no plot, there’s no story.

This week’s basic plot point is (insert drum roll here):


Details: Revenge plots revolve around retaliation and reciprocation, a tit for tat so to speak involving the protagonist, antagonist, or a main characters. One of these characters (or more than one character) seeks to deliver payback for an injustice done to them, whether it be something real or perceived (imaginary).

Example: Since I’m a Shakespeare loving fiend, let’s use “Hamlet”, one of his famous plays. Basically Hamlet loathes the new man (his father’s brother) that his mother has married and his father’s ghost speaks to Hamlet asking him to set things right. Hamlet discovers and confirms that his uncle is actually his father’s killer. This information paired with Hamlet’s rage (and a lot of other stuff I left out for time sake), drive Hamlet to madness and causes him to revenge-kill his father’s killer (his uncle) to make amends.

Other reading material with the revenge plot:

The Berenstain Bears and the Bully by Stan and Jan Berenstain (Children’s)
(Also if you want a good laugh about it, read this article)

Ten by Gretchen McNeil  (YA Mystery)

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (Classic, Historical Fiction)

Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King (Horror)

A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin (Fantasy)

Also, I found this hilarious article on Perfecting Your Revenge Plot from the Onion. It’s worth the chuckle.

What are your favorite revenge plot novels? Is this your favorite novel plot to write?
Let us know in the comments below!

Jolene Haley, Jolene Haley, @JoleneHaley

(but you can call me Jolene Plotter and the Chamber of Write Tips)


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