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On My Christmas Wish List: A Mechanical Robot That Devises Story Plots

December 6, 2010 at 4:31 pm

For me, plotting is the slowest and most difficult part of the writing process.  How many times have I wished there were an easier way to develop the plot for a novel, story, or "scenario"?  Too many to count!

If only, goes my constant lament, somebody would build a mechanical tool for devising plots automatically.  Preferably out of wood and Bakelite, and possibly powered by coal.

Little did I know my prayers were answered over 40 years before I was born.  Feast your eyes on this wonderment of modern scenario development: the Plot Robot.

The principles of its operation are far, far too complex to try to dissect them here.  Suffice it to say this marvel distills the infinite variety of the creative process into the readouts from eight analog dials.  SCIENCE!

This article makes me realize, too, that I've been mismanaging my writing efforts.  Why have I been laboring over novels and short fiction when I could become a Scenario Writer?  That sounds like just the thing for a guy like me.  Short stories and novels are difficult.  But scenarios?  Hell, I could do that in my sleep (and sometimes do)

Here's a scenario right off the top of my head:  Great White Sharks + Great Pyramid of Cheops + Time Machine.

Bam.

Now if I wanted to turn that into a novel, I'd have to devise characters and a plot (well, not any longer, thanks to science) and then actually write the novel.  Same with a short story.  But as a scenario writer, my work is already done!

(Found this via io9.)

Comments

Richard December 6, 2010 at 5:49 pm
I just found this one: http://www.archetypewriting.com/muse/generators/plot.htm and this one: http://nielsenhayden.com/overlord/ I like the second one better. Advice for the evil overlord!
Susan December 7, 2010 at 7:35 am
Wowza... That's... Well, I feel like a complete failure. Plot Robot can probably generate better ideas than me. I thought I was better than a machine because of my creativity! ::waves fist at sky:: In all honesty, I am super intrigued. I'd love to see this thing in action...
E J Frost December 12, 2010 at 3:56 pm
Sharks. It would be sharks. :P
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