This topic contains 6 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Rob Vargas 2 weeks, 3 days ago.

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  • #657536


    used by alfred hitchcock

    essentially a road map through the maze of possible plots to pick the pieces that would best fit your story

  • #657539

    Rob Vargas

    Maybe people know what you mean. Maybe they don’t. More details would help.

    Web site? Book? Video? Some kind of Bozo The Clown for writers?

    What is it?

  • #657544


    @rob vargas

    plotto is a book about a process to be used that also contains many plot segments identified, and cross linked to matching segments, to help create a logical story that holds together

    average review 4.1. mostof the one star reviews have no logical basis.

    “Plotto has just been reissued for the edification of novelists everywhere.”
    – NPR

    “Plotto is a reference guide that is at once dense, artful, and hilarious.”
    – Brainpickings

    “”A freaky plot museum containing every twist under the sun.””
    – Chris Baty, Founder of NanoWriMo and author of NO PLOT? NO PROBLEM

    About the Author
    William Wallace Cook was born in Marshall, Michigan, in 1867. He was the author of a memoir, The Fiction Factory, as well as dozens of Westerns and science-fiction novels, many of which were adapted into films. He was nicknamed “the man who deforested Canada” for the volume of stories he fed into the pulp-magazine mill. He spent five years composing Plotto before finally publishing it in 1928. Cook died in his hometown of Marshall in 1933.

    this book does not create the plot. you still need to be creative. but it helps assemble a complete plot that holds together by suggesting things that would fit, based on context of your previous choices, for you to consider
    when limning your plot outline.

  • #657547

    Rob Vargas


    The poster has been blocked as he was warned would happen. The previous post is a legitimate response and has been retained for that reason.

  • #657555


    used by alfred hitchcock

    Hitchcock was not a writer. He hired writers and supervised/guided them. And the writer that gave him him breakthrough film, “The Lodger”, did not outline or plan his stories:

    “Hitchcock’s first job in film was as a designer of silent movie titles, which led him to work closely with the studio’s writers. It was during this early apprenticeship that Hitchcock learned the fundamentals of writing movie scenarios, and he might have found his calling had his visual flare, technical proficiency, and exposure to the German cinema not made him more ideally suited to becoming a director than a film writer.

    At least Michael Balcon, chief of Gainsborough pictures, thought so when he assigned Eliot Stannard to write Hitchcock’s directorial debut, The Pleasure Garden. Stannard was a ten-year veteran of the British film industry with more than fifty scripts to his credit when he wrote Hitchcock’s first five films for Gainsborough, including the breakthrough thriller, The Lodger. Ivor Montagu described Stannard as a consummate professional, whose method “was to sit down and tap it straight out on the typewriter as he thought of it, without change or erasement.” Stannard followed Hitchcock to British International Pictures for two more films where his sure-handed writing freed the director to sharpen the visual skills that quickly set him apart from his contemporaries. ” [emphasis mine]

    Hitchcock used many, many writers over his decades as a director, and many book adaptations (ie, many more writers), all of whom had their own methods of writing.

    As to the book itself, it was published in 1928, and only recently re-issued. As others (professionals in the world of writing, I might add) have noted, many of the ideas and plot “decision trees” have become outdated over the last 90 years. JMO, but I would think one could easily come up with similar choices should one simply ask, “Well, what if…?”.

    helps assemble a complete plot that holds together by suggesting things that would fit, based on context of your previous choices, for you to consider

    Just to note – this is exactly how I write, sans any book telling me how to do it. I consider different routes to take, based on what I’ve already written and how well those possibilities could logically fit the story as written. The one that sounds like it could be the most interesting (and fun to write) is the one I generally choose. One doesn’t need an outline to do that – it can be done with or without one. Writer’s choice.

  • #657560

    Rob Vargas

    That doesn’t mean that he didn’t use, and learn from, this book.

    I don’t know that he did, but he is largely noted for great storytelling, even if as a director. If he did, then that’s significant.

  • #657573


    I found one article where he’s quoted saying he bought it.

    In this day and age in particular, I don’t accept such statements by anyone as fact. I want to see where they got their information. The implication in that simple statement that Hitchcock used it appears to be used as an endorsement of the book by a famous and successful writer. So, no, Hitchcock was not a writer, and whether he actually used the book, liked the book, threw it in the trash – we don’t know. The article I linked to describes how Hitchcock worked with writers – so even his story-telling was a collaboration.

    Now, had the statement been that Erle Stanley Gardner has used the book, that’s provable. He did – and he was an actual author.

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