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story of your life

My Cousin is Not a Hero: "But it’s not fiction, it’s real life. It’s the night of his dad’s funeral and we’re standing there together, and neither of us is a hero. Neither of us is on an epic journey... Our plot points are weird ones, and our stories don’t add up to some amazing narrative of personal growth and enlightenment — but they do matter, because they’re ours." [more inside]
posted by flex on Aug 1, 2014 - 16 comments

little patience for intellectual phumphering

Finding the Next Lost: What Is an “Operational Theme” and Why Don’t I Have One? by Javier Grillo–Marxuach (Previously)
posted by Potomac Avenue on May 28, 2014 - 36 comments

Project Souvenir

On Tuesday, details began to emerge about a failed attempt to detonate a pressure cooker bomb outside the BC Legislature in Victoria on Canada Day, a day on which few politicians would be present and the lawn packed with families. Independent publication The Tyee examines what role the RCMP played in the bomb plot while reviewing the history of so-called 'honeypot' investigations used by the FBI in the US.
posted by mannequito on Jul 5, 2013 - 40 comments

Kurt Vonnegut's diagram of how a story works

Maya Eliam does a graphic representing Vonnegut's thesis of story-telling.
posted by angrycat on Jan 18, 2013 - 33 comments

The Avengers script in detail

"The screenplay keeps so many balls in the air that everything feels lively and inventive and fun, even when the plot isn’t being forwarded, or especially when the plot isn’t being forwarded. " Todd Alcott, director, actor and screenwriter, is known for his exhaustive analysis of screenplays (previously, previously) turns his eye to the modern Superhero Genre with a complete break down of Marvel's The Avengers Part 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 16 / 17
posted by The Whelk on Jan 11, 2013 - 60 comments

There is Nothing New Under the Sun

She sat zazen, concentrating on not concentrating, until it was time to prepare for the appointment. Sitting seemed to produce the usual serenity, put everything in perspective. Her hand did not tremble as she applied her make-up; tranquil features looked back at her from the mirror. She was mildly surprised, in fact, at just how calm she was, until she got out of the hotel elevator at the garage level and the mugger made his play. She killed him instead of disabling him. Which was obviously not a measured, balanced action--the official fuss and paperwork could make her late. Annoyed at herself, she stuffed the corpse under a shiny new Westinghouse roadable whose owner she knew to be in Luna, and continued on to her own car. This would have to be squared later, and it would cost. No help for it--she fought to regain at least the semblance of tranquillity as her car emerged from the garage and turned north. Nothing must interfere with this meeting, or with her role in it. "Melancholy Elephants," an enthralling, Hugo Award-winning short story by Spider Robinson about a disciplined operative, a powerful senator, and a crucial mission to preserve humanity's most precious resource. (some spoilers inside) [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Oct 27, 2012 - 14 comments

Professor Serling

Rod Serling discusses writing. A conversation.
posted by timsteil on Oct 21, 2012 - 13 comments

Not again, please....

After the rumoured murder of John Paul I and the attempts on the life of John Paul II, and following an old, old tradition, an Italian daily has now published a restricted document purporting to warn Benedict XVI of a plot to kill him before the end of this year.
posted by aqsakal on Feb 11, 2012 - 36 comments

The Waffle House Terrorists

This past November, news broke of a rather odd domestic terror plot that had been broken up by the FBI. Four senior citizens in northern Georgia who met regularly at a local Waffle House, were allegedly planning to spread ricin and botulinum toxin in Atlanta and Washington, DC, in order to kill millions of people and "save the Constitution." But was there ever really a conspiracy?
posted by zarq on Jan 20, 2012 - 86 comments

The plot isn't great, but the plots are pretty good.

The OEIS Movie is simply a slideshow of one thousand plots from the Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences, at two plots per second with sequence-generated music. [more inside]
posted by Wolfdog on Dec 2, 2010 - 12 comments

PlotWeaver

Obsessed with xkcd's Movie Narrative Charts? (previously) So was Vadim Ogievetsky. For his final project in a Data Visualization course at Stanford, he developed a tool to generate his own, including the Star Wars Original Trilogy and Pulp Fiction. Now he offers the webapp online for you to take a stab at it. [more inside]
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis on Feb 23, 2010 - 70 comments

Random TV Plot Generators

On TV on any given night:
Party Baby: Game show contestants with a shoe box full of cash, combating threats to our rain forest, almost always confused by what's going on, find out that even when you lose, you win.
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Whlist studying a pre-warp civilization, Wesley falls ill when the Enterprise encounters an apparent duplicate of Riker which is in fact a holographic simulation, so Riker delivers a phaser blast, which means everything turns out okay, though Picard has had to deal with children. Then, finally Guinan says something cliche and they leave at warp factor five.
...or, try your luck*.
*[previously on a very special MetaFilter. Other generators sold separately.]
posted by not_on_display on Jun 2, 2009 - 27 comments

Grab your gun and bring in the cat

Reviews and thoughts on the Battlestar Galatica finale, and a few answers from show creator Ron Moore
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Mar 21, 2009 - 440 comments

Every scene must turn...

The Wager: "I'll bet you that video games will never become a significant form of cultural discourse the way that novels and film have. I'll bet you that fifty years from now they'll be just as mature and well-respected as comic books are today," posits game designer Steve Gaynor. Responses and rebuttals. [more inside]
posted by Pastabagel on Feb 19, 2008 - 140 comments

Movie plot threats

Security expert (and personal hero) Bruce Schneier on the subject of movie plot threats : Sometimes it seems like the people in charge of homeland security spend too much time watching action movies. They defend against specific movie plots instead of against the broad threats of terrorism.

This month, Schneier announces a contest for readers of his blog and newsletter - submit the most unlikely, yet still plausible, terrorist attack scenarios you can come up with.

From the announcement : "The prize will be an autographed copy of Beyond Fear. And if I can swing it, a phone call with a real live movie producer."
posted by Afroblanco on Apr 8, 2006 - 31 comments

Dictators and their demises

Dictators and their demises: a miscellany. Saddam and the Destruction of Civil Society in Iraq is the timely find, and deals with the entire history of Iraq since the Ba'ath party takeover, including a detailed ideological history of the party and the increasingly totalitarian aspects of Saddam's rule in Iraq. To ask whether democracy, even in a non-Western sense, has a chance in Iraq is to jump one step ahead of the game. The fundamental questions we need to answer first are: What was the nature of Iraqi civil society before the Ba`thist regime destroyed it? How did the Ba`th oliberate it? And can Iraqi civil society be rebuilt after Saddam has left the stage? [more inside]
posted by dhartung on Apr 9, 2003 - 19 comments

My wife and I watched 'Notorious' last night. We weren't far into it before we realized the plot had been lifted for 'Mission:Impossible 2'! It makes us think even less of the latter movie. What's more, we couldn't find anything in their publicity about stealing the plot. It had to be left to the critics.

Can you name any reworkings of original plots that actually turned out good or better? (more inside)
posted by Sean Meade on Jan 1, 2001 - 48 comments

I Have A Cunning Plan, My Lord...

I Have A Cunning Plan, My Lord... - According to Al Fayed it was Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who masterminded the plot to kill Diana and Dodi and now he's gotten the CIA to help with the cover up. Perhaps he's been watching too much Blackadder or something.
posted by Nyarlathotep on Aug 30, 2000 - 15 comments

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