Unfortunately, some genres and plotlines appear to have more trouble with this than others. A cringeworthy lack of originality seems to be built into their very premise.
Granted, the ride can be fun at times, but you always know what will be waiting for you when the rollercoaster glides to a halt.
And so, in honour of all my fellow Fiction Fans who have noticed these nagging trends, I present the 3 Plotlines that are Usually Foregone Conclusions, starting with...
I recently wrote a post about whether or not My Fugitive is a romance novel.
For those of you who read the post, you may have noticed that I'm not thrilled with the idea of romance novels in general, not because they can't be good, but because unless the relationship is primarily a subplot in a larger scheme, it doesn't leave much to question.
Will he look past her homeliness and see the beautiful heart inside? Can she thaw his frozen soul? Can two people from very separate worlds defy the rules and find love together?
If the person writing on the back of the book or movie cover even has to ask, the question is already answered. Of course they'll get together.
Even if they hate each other, it's totally implausible, and/or the relationship is obviously doomed to be horribly unhealthy, I'm pretty darn sure that they'll get their happy ending.
Which means, of course, that the characters and the world they live in are guaranteed to survive long enough for that to happen. Which brings me to...
Saving the world
Unless you're looking at Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the Earth will probably survive. Because no matter how advanced the aliens are, how outgunned humanity is, or what kind of terrifying organization has risen from within our own ranks, humans are special.
And writing a world in which every bit of cultural context the writer has grown up with is utterly gone would probably take too much imagination for most to try to take on.
Hm... I might have to take that as a challenge someday. And speaking of challenges...
Sports, underdog stories and contests
The underdog wins. The end.
...I'm sorry. Did you want something more than that? Because sometimes, there simply isn't anything more to be had.
True, a well-done story will have subplots and conflicts that are either disconnected from or amplified by the overarching plot, but how often do you see the ragtag bunch of protagonists lose?
All in all, there are some plotlines that I doubt I could bring myself to make the primary point of a story. Unless, of course, I was feeling rebellious that day.
Have you noticed other plots that almost always end the same way?
Feel free to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.