20 Master Plots (And How to Build Them) by Ronald B. Tobias
This was an informative book on general plots. The author listed 20 themes that have been used in literature. What I liked about this book is that the author gave an overview of basic plot structure, as well as examples from past literature to illustrate his points. At the end of each Plot chapter, he listed several questions to help the writer make sure they are hitting the main points of that particular type of plot.
While this book is general, it does help someone new to writing get an idea of what to include in their particular type of book. The author also pointed out that most books have three dramatic phases and what should occur by each phase for the various types of plots. The author also states that not all books follow these basic plots. It is a generalization, and he states that from time to time.
I could easily see this as a quick general reference if one wants to try a different plot structure. Each chapter on a different plot runs about 4 to 7 pages, depending on how detailed he gets and how many referenced novels he uses.
I have to admit that I look at books a little differently now that I have read this. I would recommend it only to those who have no idea where to start. This book will not give you complete structure, but it will give you a framework on which to build your story. It will give you guided questions to help you start on your way, and hopefully get the creative juices flowing!