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We’re Back! Plotto: The Master Contest of All Plots, Week 1

“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! Again!

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 word (or less) 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:

A, married to B, is haunted by memories of a former sweetheart.

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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Comments: 3

(3) Comments

  1. Joseph says:

    Are these due by Monday at 5AM? or 5PM?

  2. Masie Cochran says:

    There will be a new Plotto prompt and new contest post on the blog every Wednesday morning.

  3. Joseph says:

    Hi, are new prompts posted every Weds. morning? And
    will they be on this page or an entirely new one each
    time? Thanks!

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