Old School Romance Plot Wheel of Doom

Or, Plot Points Not to Use When You Get Stuck

I have been entirely too serious around here lately, so I thought for Thursday I’d celebrate the waning of the week with a little fun.  I’ve been dancing around the subject of being stuck lately, mentioning that I have switched projects and that I require outlines and that I like to write the good scenes ahead of time, etc.  The jig is up, though. I’m spinning wheels. So I’ve been thinking of ways to get myself unstuck, and one of my favorite absurdities drifted back into mind:  the alleged “plot wheel” of Edgar Wallace.

In a moment of synthesis, my muse combined the idea of the plot wheel with all the crazy old-school romances that get described when long-time romance readers start talking.  This led to the best piece of creative Goo-Gone I will never use:  the Old School Romance Plot Wheel of Doom. 

For those on mobile devices, here are the plot wheel options I came up with, because these things seemed to happen ALL THE TIME in older romances:

  • Kidnapped by enemy
  • Sold into slavery
  • Raped by the hero
  • Mistaken for hero’s evil ex
  • Inconvenient spouse
  • Impregnated by accident
  • Someone returns from the dead
  • Long lost heir discovered
  • Run away from problems
  • Near death experience

Did I miss your favorite plot point of despair?  I am happy to reinvent the wheel (heh) if need be! Just leave me a comment on what I left off….

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7 Comments

Filed under Reflections on Romance

7 responses to “Old School Romance Plot Wheel of Doom

  1. Darryl

    You can get plenty of crazy random twists from Dr. House too!

  2. Heroine, hero or family member falls ill (Chronic or fatal)
    He/she/family member hurt in accident
    Inherits money
    Loses money
    Hero is shanghiaed on ship or deported to Australia
    Hero seduced by femme fatale

    That’s just off the top of my head. Now, here’s the funny part. I still have a pair of ten-sided dice from my D&D days. Sometimes I will set up a list of things that could happen, like your wheel, and roll the dice to get my next plot device.

  3. There is nothing like duty to family to tear a couple apart. It still works like a charm.

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