Plot is not Story. Plot is a tool that can help you with your story. It might help quite a bit. But it might not. It might even hurt. Who remembers learning all the ‘versus’ categories in school? The Most Dangerous Game…Man vs Man. The Old Man and the Sea…Man vs Nature. The Lady or the Tiger…Man vs Doors? Whatever. I’m still not sure what those categories were supposed to teach us about literature. What about The Call of the Wild? I might ask the main character’s a freakin dog. Ummm…my teacher might reply…It’s still Man vs Nature, the dog really stands for man. Yeah, I might have said back, but every step the dog makes takes him closer and closer to nature, not versus nature. Then my teacher might ignore me because she might have to admit that the versus categories, even broader than plot categories, are pretty much meaningless and have no effect whatsoever in how good the story is.
Plot is neither good nor bad it’s just a tool. Learn it quickly and move on to something better, more fun, and more interesting. Your characters. If you can write a good character, plot will become meaningless. People remember the characters, not the plot. Ask someone what Raiders of the Lost Ark is about. They might say it’s an Adventure Plot. They might say it’s an Underdog Plot, or a Quest plot, or even Man vs. Man. But more likely it will be some version of this–“This dude, Indiana Jones, is a professor of archaeology. He wears a fedora and leather jacket and carries a whip and he looks for lost artifacts and he’s trying to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazi’s do. Oh yeah it takes place in the ’30’s. So, you know, there’s Nazis.” It’s about this guy, it’s about these two young girls, it’s about a freakin sled dog. Always the character first and what happens to them or what they do second. Something to think about.