The Plot Genie: Short-Short Story

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About the author:
"With the aid of the Plot Genie, one does not have to wait for a rare flash of inspiration for a story. The Genie will provide a complete plot framework every five minutes, and I can show any author where it could have developed the plot structure of any story he ever wrote."
- Wycliffe A. Hill, "Plot Genie: General Index"

With those brave words, the world was introduced to Plot Genie ...

The origins of the book read like pulp fiction itself. Wycliffe A. Hill had been kicking around Hollywood when one of his motion picture scripts was returned by the great director Cecil B. DeMille. "...Although an interesting narrative," DeMille wrote, "it contains no dramatic plot."

Apparently, Hill vowed to avenge the death (or rejection) of this screenplay and dedicated his life to the pursuit of "this thing called Plot." It's anyone's guess as to what flew in through his window, but he was inspired to created his book containing lists of plot elements, characters, and settings, and invented the cardboard Plot Robot wheel to accompany it.

Some pulp authors dismissed it. Others turned to it for occasional assistance. A few even modified it (and other plot generating devices) to accommodate their particular needs.

During the Depression, when newsstands were filled with pulp magazines, and every magazine sported at least one short story, Plot Genie might have seemed like a ray of hope to struggling, unemployed citizens. Purchase a book for five dollars (which was like spending seventy-five in those days), dash off a few lines, and tell the bank to stand by for your deposits.

Plot Genie and its brethren inspired a clever scene in Blonde Inspiration (1941). It was directed by Busby Berkeley, renown for his musical numbers.

The Plot Genie: Short-Short Story

Authored by Wycliffe A. Hill

Bold Venture Press presents the sixth edition of The Plot Genie Supplemental Formulas, complimenting the original "Plot Genie Index." This edition was designed to help authors in constructing the "Short-Short Story," popularized in magazines of the era like Liberty and Collier's. Short-short stories were written to fill a single page. Designed for light entertainment and fast reading, this form of story-telling (now referred to as "flash fiction") has become popular in recent years as reader's attention spans are divided between an ever-increasing information overload.

The Plot Genie: Short-Short Story supplemental formula is a great learning tool to encourage youngsters to unleash their creativity. Download the "Plot Robot" from the Bold Venture Press website, or use an online random number generator, to select various plot elements for story construction.

Use this Plot Genie supplement to tell the basics-brisk plots, fast characterizations, an economy of words. Get in, get out-that's the modern way, and satisfying readers is the Plot Genie way!*

* Results may vary.

Publication Date:
1515379027 / 9781515379027
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
7.44" x 9.69"
Black and White with Bleed
Related Categories:
Education / Teaching Methods & Materials / Arts & Humanities

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