I found out today that in all of literature, there are only 7 plot lines. Nothing is new, everything has been told before. It is up to writers to redo the window dressing to make things look new and interesting, but in reality, it has all been done.
It was kind of depressing to learn this. I'd like to think that I was creative enough to come up with something new, but after looking at the list for a while, I think the list may be correct. Every story draws from this list, and if the story is not purely one of these things, then it is a combination of two or more. So, what it this list? Courtesy of that font of all knowledge, the Internet, I present...
The Seven Stories That Rule the World
1. Tragedy - Hero with a fatal flaw meets tragic end.
2. Comedy - Not always "laugh-out-loud," but always with a happy ending, typically of romantic fulfillment.
3. Overcoming the Monster
4. Voyage and Return
6. Rags to Riches
7. Rebirth - Central character suddenly finds new reason for living
I think the novel I've been working on falls under the "Overcoming the Monster" category, but I think it has a little bit of "Quest" in it. We'll see. I haven't honestly been writing that much, and I really need to get on that.