Plotto and Randomized Plot Generation

edited February 2012 in Story Games
Saw this on NPR and Amazon and thought it might be an interesting as a plot-generation tool:

http://www.npr.org/2012/02/19/146941343/plotto-an-algebra-book-for-fiction-writing
http://www.amazon.com/Plotto-Master-Book-All-Plots/dp/1935639188/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1329832071&sr=8-1

Some of the headings in the ToC are great:

Being Compelled by an Unusual Motive to Engage in Crafty Enterprise
Falling In Love at a Time When Certain Obligations Forbid Love
Finding an Obligation at Variance with Ambition, Inclination, or Necessity

The original was apparently published in 1928 and it's been recently (2011) republished.

I'm curious how useable it is as a plot-generation algorithm and how difficult it would be to implement some subset or derivation of it as a ruleset or computer program. :)

-d-

Comments

  • edited February 2012
    I own and love Plotto. It is like walking around in a filing cabinet that was organized by someone with very specific bad ideas about information management,and who lives in the late twenties. It is not particularly friendly or easy to use, but it is really, really fun once you get the hang of it.

    One thing that is particularly endearing is Plotto's excursions into genre fiction. Most of the plot elements are generic, but occasionally you get cannibals, or magic potions, or enemy spies, or vengeful ghosts.

    Converting it into an electronic plotting aid is the first thought of literally everyone who touches the book. It wouldn't be hard, just very, very tedious. There are thousands of entries, each with multiple permutations, many with special use cases depending on where you are coming from or going to in the plot sequence. I'd rather eat a gun than take that on, but it'd be pretty straightforward.
  • Okay, I just downloaded this from Amazon to my kindle. That was, to put it mildly, a mistake.

    I think.
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