Book Review
"The Plot Machine"

Design Better Stories Faster

There are a lot of books on story structure, but only The Plot Machine presents a step-by-step guide to designing a story. In clear precise language, this guide discusses the various types of stories we tell, their specific parts, and how they are assembled. Say good-bye to staring at the blank page waiting for lightning to strike. Just put a few coins in the Plot Machine and design better stories faster.


"The Plot Machine" Reviewed

A straightforward approach to plotting.

Kutzera has taken an interesting approach to breaking down the process of plotting a story. Until reading this book, I’d always tried to plan things in a linear fashion, but Kutzera rearranges the process. He also breaks down common story types into templates, which build your potential story through asking particular questions. Each question builds on ideas and answers you already have, and gets you thinking.

By following this altered roadmap, I was able to build the basic outline for my novel when other methods had failed me.

That said this system doesn’t specifically address building in sub-plots, but the templates make the system adaptable. By using each template to consider possible subplots it’s easier to see how they could be layered in.

My one minor gripe is that a little extra editing would have been useful. There were odd words here and there that looked as though an autocorrect had replaced what was intended. This was the only reason I didn’t rate this five stars, but it wouldn’t stop me investigating future editions of this book, if there are any. I would also be interested in seeing how Kutzera would break down other common story types.


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