TIN HOUSE publishing company is reprinting Plotto: The Master Book of All Plots by the prolific pulp writer William Wallace Cook, a how-to story writing book originally published in 1928.
The new edition comes just in time for November, National Novel Writing Month.
A few months ago, Tin House publishing company released their reprinting of The Hour: A Cocktail Manifesto by Bernard DeVoto, originally published in the 1950s, to great success. The book became a cult classic among cocktail enthusiasts, but became increasingly rare to find over the decades.
In 2010, Tin House brought new life into The Hour, a book that would have been lost to obscurity and time. It seems the publishing company has found another gem from the past: Plotto: The Master Book of All Plots, by the prolific pulp writer William Wallace Cook. Cook himself banged out countless stories to the tune of 66,000 words a week back in the height of pulp writing. The man clearly had a knack for creating plots, and in 1928 he published his methods in a book called Plotto. Cook passed away in 1933 in Marshall, Michigan, but he would have been happy knowing that his masterpiece how-to story writing book has made it through the decades.
“purpose, opposed by obstacle, yields conflict”
Plotto is a guide for writing that operates on Cook’s theory that purpose, opposed by obstacle, yields conflict. The book is set up into sections: The Master Plot, The Conflict Situations and Character Combinations. Choosing options from each of the three sections helps the writer to create a full-fledged story, almost like a choose-your-own-adventure book, one that makes you write what happens when you flip to page 46 instead of just reading it.
Tin House is due to release Plotto in November of this year with an introduction by the writer Paul Collins. This book arrives just in time for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Plotto, a cure-all for writer’s block, would be an asset to marathon novelists everywhere, and on it own is just a unique book to have in a collection.
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