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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 scenarios A 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.
Example in this ebook I. AUT FICTION, AUT NULLUS. "Well, my dear," said John Milton Edwards, miserably uncertain and turning to appeal to his wife, "which shall it be—to write or not to write?" "To write," was the answer, promptly and boldly, "to do nothing else but write." John Milton wanted her to say that, and yet he did not. Her conviction, orally expressed, had all the ring of true metal; yet her husband, reflecting his own inner perplexities, heard a false note suggesting the base alloy of uncertainty. "Hadn't we better think it over?" he quibbled. "You've been thinking it over for two years, John, and this month is the first time your returns from your writing have ever been more than your salary at the office. If you can be so successful when you are obliged to work nights and Sundays—and most of the time with your wits befogged by office routine—what could you not do if you spent ALL your time in your Fiction Factory?" "It may be," ventured John Milton, "that I could do better work, snatching a few precious moments from those everlasting pay-rolls, than by giving all my time and attention to my private Factory." "Is that logical?" inquired Mrs. John Milton. "I don't know, my dear, whether it's logical or not. We're dealing with a psychological mystery that has never been broken to harness. Suppose I have the whole day before me and sit down at my typewriter to write a story. Well and good. But getting squared away with a fresh sheet over the platen isn't the whole of it. The Happy Idea must be evolved. What if the Happy Idea does not come when I am ready for it? Happy Ideas, you know, have a disagreeable habit of hiding out. There's no hard and fast rule, that I am aware, for capturing a Happy Idea at just the moment it may be most in demand. There's lightning in a change of work, the sort of lightning that clears the air with a tonic of inspiration. When I'm paymastering the hardest I seem to be almost swamped with ideas for the story mill. Query: Will the mill grind out as good a grist if it grinds continuously? If I were sure—" "It stands to reason," Mrs. Edwards maintained stoutly, "that if you can make $125 a month running the mill nights and Sundays, you ought to be able to make a good deal more than that with all the week days added." "Provided," John Milton qualified, "my fountain of inspiration will flow as freely when there is nothing to hinder it as it does now when I have it turned off for twelve hours out of the twenty-four." "Why shouldn't it?" "I don't know, my dear," John Milton admitted, "unless it transpires that my inspiration isn't strong enough to be drawn on steadily." "Fudge," exclaimed Mrs. Edwards. "And then," her husband proceeded, "let us consider another phase of the question. The demand may fall off. The chances are that it WILL fall off the moment the gods become aware of the fact that I am depending on the demand for our bread and butter. Whenever a thing becomes absolutely essential to you, Fate immediately obliterates every trail that leads to it, and you go wandering desperately back and forth, getting more and more discouraged until—" "Until you drop in your tracks," broke in Mrs. Edwards, "and give up—a quitter." "Quitter" is a mean word. There's something about it that jostles you, and treads on your toes. "I don't think I'd prove a quitter," said John Milton, "even if I did get lost in a labyrinth of hard luck. It's the idea of losing you along with me that hurts." "I'll risk that." To be continue in this ebook
This "Plotto Instruction Booklet" has been out of print since 1934, which is a shame, since it's difficult to figure out how to use "Plotto" without it! Originally used by William Wallace Cook as the textbook for a course in using "Plotto, " it goes through both the mechanics and the philosophy of creating plots with "Plotto." The "Plotto Instruction Booklet" in its original form is almost impossible to find, and in fact I owned a copy of "Plotto" for years before even realized that it existed. I was fortunate enough to track down a copy only 60 miles away and borrow it long enough to copy it. "Plotto" is the opposite of a random plot generator: using it will not write a story for you, or even structure one. It offers suggestions that you are expect to-required to-customize to fit the needs of your story. "Plotto" is a structured way of stimulating your imagination into creating the situations and conflicts you need, whether for a short story, a screenplay, or a novel. A century ago, William Wallace Cook was a pulp fiction writer famous for his immense output, solid creativity, and his use of organization and technology to ease the task of writing stories at high speed. His non-fiction books, "Plotto" and "The Fiction Factory, " are available through Norton Creek Press.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER USA TODAY BESTSELLER A provocative, comprehensive analysis of Vladimir Putin and Russia's master plan to destroy democracy in the age of Donald Trump. In the greatest intelligence operation in the history of the world, Donald Trump was made President of the United States with the assistance of a foreign power. For the first time, The Plot to Destroy Democracy reveals the dramatic story of how blackmail, espionage, assassination, and psychological warfare were used by Vladimir Putin and his spy agencies to steal the 2016 U.S. election--and attempted to bring about the fall of NATO, the European Union, and western democracy. It will show how Russia and its fifth column allies tried to flip the cornerstones of democracy in order to re-engineer the world political order that has kept most of the world free since 1945. Career U.S. Intelligence officer Malcolm Nance will examine how Russia has used cyber warfare, political propaganda, and manipulation of our perception of reality--and will do so again--to weaponize American news, traditional media, social media, and the workings of the internet to attack and break apart democratic institutions from within, and what we can expect to come should we fail to stop their next attack. Nance has utilized top secret Russian-sourced political and hybrid warfare strategy documents to demonstrate the master plan to undermine American institutions that has been in effect from the Cold War to the present day. Based on original research and countless interviews with espionage experts, Nance examines how Putin's recent hacking accomplished a crucial first step for destabilizing the West for Russia, and why Putin is just the man to do it. Nance exposes how Russia has supported the campaigns of right-wing extremists throughout both the U.S. and Europe to leverage an axis of autocracy, and how Putin's agencies have worked since 2010 to bring fringe candidate Donald Trump into elections. Revelatory, insightful, and shocking, The Plot To Destroy Democracy puts a professional spy lens on Putin's plot and unravels it play-by-play. In the end, he provides a better understanding of why Putin's efforts are a serious threat to our national security and global alliances--in much more than one election--and a blistering indictment of Putin's puppet, President Donald J. Trump.
This is a veritable thesaurus of exciting plot twists and story moves that work for any composition of any genre.
Reading a new Socratic dialogue that reflects a time traveler's argument with the great philosopher that he can escape death by traveling to the future, graduate student Sierra is astonished when the elderly scholar who showed her the document disappears, an event that prompts her search for answers through time with the help of her boyfriend, Max. Reprint.

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