Foster Harris identifies the three basic patterns of a plot.
1: Happy ending:- The Hero makes a sacrifice for the greater good.
2: Unhappy ending:- The Hero shies away from the opportunity of sacrifice and inadvertently causes suffering.
3: Literary plot:- A plot that doesn’t hinge upon decision, but Fate. The Hero follows along a predetermined path and arrives at end, where tragedy usually awaits.
All of these have a different effect on the reader, happy, unhappy and strangely empty as the realisation that control is a mere illusion of life sets in. I agree, that most plot points follow these paths, I suppose that is just the bare basics however, as any number of subplots can take place within a story, each with their own different ending/resolution.
Christopher Booker, a Jungian style analysts wrote a book titled The Seven Basic Plots: Why we tell stories. The book goes into detail about the seven basic plots that almost every story follows.
Overcoming the Monster:- A protagonist is tasked with defeating/overcoming an entity.
Rags to Riches:- The protagonist gains great wealth/power, loses it briefly then regains it once more after acquiring some wisdom
The Quest:- The protagonist learns of a task that only they can complete usually with a band of companions.
Voyage and Return:- Protagonist ends up in a crazy/mad world with it’s own set of rules and ultimately triumphs, returning a different and more maturer individual.
Comedy:- Often involves a romantic plot fraught with funny pitfalls and evident dangers, usually ends with the romance blossoming happily.
Tragedy:- The protagonist is a villain and we watch them spiral into defeat.
Rebirth:- The protagonist is a villain, and is able to redeem his nature with an act of honour that saves the day.