Plotto: The Master Book of All Plots
A classic how-to manual, William Wallace Cook's Plotto is one writer's personal theory--"Purpose, opposed by Obstacle, yields Conflict"--painstakingly diagrammed through hundreds of situations and scenariosA classic how-to manual, William Wallace Cook’s Plotto is one writer’s personal method, painstakingly diagrammed for the benefit of others. The theory itself may be simple—“Purpose, opposed by Obstacle, yields Conflict”—but Cook takes his “Plottoist” through hundreds of situations and scenarios, guiding the reader’s hand through a dizzying array of “purposes” and “obstacles.” The method is broken down into three stages: 1. The Master Plot 2. The Conflict Situation 3. Character Combinations In the first stage, Cook demonstrates that “a character with particular traits . . . finds himself in a situation . . . and this is how it turns out.” Following this, each Master Plot leads the reader to a list of circumstances, distributed among twenty different Conflict Groups (these range from “Love’s Beginning,” to “Personal Limitations,” to “Transgression”). Finally, in Character Combinations, Cook offers an extensive index of protagonists for what serves as an inexhaustible reservoir of suggestions and inspiration.
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A’s friend A’s rival A’s wife B’s father B’s husband B’s mother BECOMING INVOLVED BR-B carry Character Symbols Classification by Character Clause commits a transgression compelled craftily crafty enterprise crime criminal crook danger dead death designing woman desperate discovers divorce elopes engaged escape evil experience F-B and M-B FALLING INTO MISFORTUNE falls in love fear fictitious finds foreign ethnicity fugitive from justice happiness ideals innocent killed knows lead-up Lesson loses Love and Courtship LOVE’S BEGINNINGS LOVE’S MISADVENTURES LOVE’S REJECTION lover marriage marries B-3 masquerade ball Masterplot meets MISTAKEN JUDGMENT murdered object of mystery obligation PERSONAL LIMITATIONS plot Plotto pretends protagonist proves Purposes and Obstacles rescues revealed rival in love rival or enemy secret enterprise secretly secure seeks to save SIMULATION SR-A stolen story strange stranger suicide supposed sweetheart thinks undertaking unusual motive wealthy William Wallace woman he loves writing