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
In the 1920s, dime store novelist William Wallace Cook painstakingly diagramed and cataloged his personal writing method―“Purpose, opposed by Obstacle, yields Conflict”―for the instruction and illumination of his fellow authors. His effort resulted in an astonishing 1,462 plot scenarios, and Plotto: The Master Book of All Plots was born. A how-to manual for plot, hailed by the Boston Globe as “First aid to troubled riters,” Plotto influenced Erle Stanley Gardner, author of the Perry Mason books, and a young Alfred Hitchcock.
At first glance, Plotto operates with a machinelike logic, but from its endless amalgamations writers will find inspiration for narratives with limitless possibility. Open the book to any page to find plots you may never have known existed–from morose cannibals to gun-wielding preachers to phantom automobiles.
Equal parts reference guide and historical oddity, Plotto is sure to amaze and delight writers for another hundred years.