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PLOTTO: THE MASTER CONTEST OF ALL PLOTS, Week 2

“FIRST AID TO TROUBLED WRITERS,” the Boston Globe announced in September 1928—“GRINDS OUT PLOTS WITHOUT ANY FALSE START.”

Calling all writers who are obsessed with plot and obsessives who can write a mean story. We want you!

THE RULES:

Every Wednesday we will post a prompt from William Wallace Cook’s classic how to manual Plotto: The Mater Book of All Plots. Simply use the prompt below to write your own original 500 (or less) word story.

In the book, {A}= a male protagonist. {B}= a female protagonist but for our purposes, feel free to write from the point of view of any gender.

Mini-Plottos, 500 words or fewer, must be submitted by the following Monday at 5:00 pst. Send to: theopenbar@tinhouse.com with PLOTTO CONTEST as the subject line.

The Week’s Prompt:

{B} finds that the knob and lock on the door of a hotel bedroom are in disrepair; the lock apparently locks itself, and the knob will not turn.

THE RICHES:

Winners will be announced each Wednesday and will receive a hardcover copy of Plotto, online publication on the Tin House Blog and be entered in the Final Master Plot Challenge.

Plotto: The Master Book of All Plots

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.”

Read a posthumous conversation with “the man who deforested Canada” William Wallace Cook here.

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  1. I saw this website and got so worked up that I dragon kicked a dinosaur!

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  1. [...] second entry 2.12.12 here, that’s the freewrite response to the Tin House writing prompt. Here’s the winner from last week’s prompt (it was about shoes).  I’m'a clean it [...]

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