If you think about it, every single card trick we know as a collective follows the same plot. Select a card, remember the card, lose the card, find the card, rinse and repeat. Sure you argue we have things like XCM, but those aren't really card tricks are they? Thats more like card juggling. Same thing can be said about literature. In essence there is no new story plots out there. Everything that is in publication today is some version or retelling of classic tried and true story archetypes. So how can some works from authors like Shakespeare, Dante, Homer, survive literally centuries while others get the trash can within months? Well timing is in part to credit. Stories like Harry Potter came out at JUST the right time to capture and reinvigorate the imagination, but it is in no way a new concept. It's a hero's journey. We see it in just about every classical myth, and legend. But timing alone can't do it all alone. Relevance to culture, good writing, and connecting with the audience on an emotional level are also all key. That is something classic literature shares with magic: Structure. Our card plots can be well written or scripted. It can be relevant to our culture, our times, and if we want to have a successful show we had better make sure we connect with our audience at the very least on an emotional level! So if structure is important, and all plots already painfully explored, what can you do to help insure that your tricks connect with your audience better than the next guy? Well a little structure in your act can help that along nicely. Instead of running a never ending barrage of pick a card tricks followed by a now I'm going to find your card, I'll do it again, but this time just a bit different, over and over try varying the themes you explore in your act. For example, an ACR, Triumph, Cards Across, and a ACAAN are four examples of a selected card being revealed, but the plots in how they are revealed are different. If you know that two of your tricks are a little too close in theme, pick one, and don't do the other. Further if you can connect all of your effects together under a common theme you can bring further meaning into your act. What if you had a card selected, and after the deck has been shuffled all mixed up, the card is the only card reversed in the deck (Triumph)? Why? What if the cards are all trained, much like an animal? You can demonstrate this (reinforcing your point) by showing how the selected card ambitiously comes back to the top of the deck on command. (Ambitious Card Routine) It's not just the selected card thats well trained, you can cause cards to jump through invisible hoops across the table (Cards Across) at your command. To bring the entire theme of a trained deck to climax, you ask the spectator to name a number, and at your command their selected card from earlier appears in the deck at that number! (ACAAN). These are just a few thoughts I had this morning while I was thinking on the way to work. I guess my question to you now is what are you going to do to make sure your card tricks aren't boring?