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Users that often use this tag:
TheSecretDecoderRing (3)
grumblebee (2)

high-concept low-spectacle speculative realistic fiction

What are some good novels that have a high-concept speculative element in the background, but aren't quite about that? [more inside]
posted by threeants on Jul 28, 2014 - 33 answers

BookPlotFilter: how to determine a villain for a story?

So I've been pecking away at a book for a while, encountering the typical novice writer issue of not getting past 100 pages or so before things start to stall. Can you help me figure out who my heroes will do battle with? [more inside]
posted by PussKillian on Jul 7, 2014 - 16 answers

I'm looking for a romance novel I read in the mid-nineties

I am looking for a romance novel from around 1993. I know that romance novels are a dime a dozen but I am hoping that, somewhere in the hive mind, there is someone who loves trashy books with a better memory than me. Here are the major plot points: [more inside]
posted by Foam Pants on Jul 5, 2014 - 5 answers

Name that romance novel (with the weird plot)

Posting for daughter as I've not a clue: "I am looking for an older romance novel - 1970s? - that I read (and reread) between 1984-1990, but I cannot remember any of the characters' names, nor the title or the author. [more inside]
posted by BlueHorse on May 6, 2014 - 6 answers

I have an encyclopedia, not a story: what to do?

Authors Of AskMe, has this happened to you? During my self-imposed creative hiatus over the last year or so I conducted a lot of research into what would be my dream project. A project I could be passionate about, the kind of book I'd really want to exist. So I made a list of every thing, character, concept, idea, sudden kind of twist I'd like. I have three notebooks of this stuff. I cross-indexed it and included all my references. I have an astounding about of detail on what I want to put in and touch on but no actual story. I keep staring at it, like it's a list of SCP entries, and I can't think of a damn thing for anyone to do with these collected items, places, motifs, themes, and people. It's frustrating cause I can come up with quick pulp narratives on the fly for stuff I'm not working as hard on but every attempt to break and outline a rising action for these people results in rapid breathing and complete brain fume-lock. I keep asking "What does the main character want?" and coming up with nothing. Is this common? Is there a resource for this? Can I pay someone to go through these ideas and find something that other people might want to read? [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Apr 23, 2014 - 39 answers

Where have all the movie plots gone?

Where are all the films which have queer characters whose sexuality is not the main point of the film? Action movies with lesbian heroes; courtroom dramas with transgender lawyers; road trip movies with gay buddies out for more than getting laid; science fiction/spooky stuff films with androgynous/intersex protagonists, I'm not fussed. Preferably ones where no one dies as a "punishment" for being queer. [more inside]
posted by Athanassiel on Mar 16, 2014 - 38 answers

Several characters in search of a plot

I'm looking for an example novel(s) that features several separate third person viewpoint characters with seemingly different plot strands at the beginning but whose plots converge as they go on and they end up meeting further on in the novel (if only briefly). I want to see how the author handles these meetings and the meta narrative of several stories merging into one. I would prefer mainstream rather than literary as I'd like to seem something straight forward rather than overly tricky and would prefer sf but please don't let that constrict you as I'm more interested in the mechanics rather than the background and any genre would do.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Nov 14, 2013 - 50 answers

How many endings to stories are there?

Various writers and critics through the years have claimed that there are only X plots (with X being pretty variable) and at the end of the day, all stories boil down to one of those plots. But today I'm asking specifically about endings. How many different endings can there be, and what are the main ones? [more inside]
posted by Naberius on Sep 25, 2013 - 11 answers

Help me convert this graph into a table.

I have a bitmap of a chart (in polar coordinates) that I would like to convert into a format that some plotting package can recognize, and then retrieve values from the chart at specific intervals. How do I do this? [more inside]
posted by tylerkaraszewski on Jun 28, 2013 - 7 answers

Spoiler filter - novels/scripts where the protagonist was in a coma/dead

Spoiler filter - novels/scripts where the protagonist was in a coma/dead (etc) the whole time? [more inside]
posted by tzb on Jan 18, 2013 - 46 answers

I Want My 80's TV

Are there any good drama series from the eighties available streaming online? [more inside]
posted by Sara C. on Jan 4, 2013 - 26 answers

Help me find a YA horror story

When I was 9 or 10 I read a book that truly scared me. I don't remember much about it now, but I'd love to find it. Please help me! [more inside]
posted by GilvearSt on Nov 19, 2012 - 4 answers

Why are third acts so difficult?

Why are third acts so difficult to execute well? [more inside]
posted by mediated self on Nov 16, 2012 - 14 answers

who?

Movies where the plot stems from a case of mistaken identity? [more inside]
posted by mannequito on Nov 4, 2012 - 38 answers

Fast-paced and smart audiobooks

Can you help me find some audiobooks that are relatively fast-paced and simple, but also have good dialogue, characters, and themes? Even if you don't listen to audiobooks, maybe you know page-turners or beach reads that are deeper than the normal fluff? Or maybe you know good literary fiction that is simple and fast-paced? [more inside]
posted by slidell on Sep 19, 2012 - 29 answers

Movies where the heroes don't foil the dastardly plot

Movies where the heroes don't foil the dastardly plot. [more inside]
posted by Eddie Mars on Jul 24, 2012 - 64 answers

Screenwriting for fun and not profit.

I have no aspirations of being a screenwriter; I'd just like to write a screenplay. I've been jotting down and scrawling ideas, on and off, for the longest time. How do I connect 1 to 2a to 2b to 3? [more inside]
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing on Jun 5, 2012 - 7 answers

Transfer questions

Transfer, the 2010 German movie: questions! (big spoilers inside; avoid if you haven't seen this awesome movie) [more inside]
posted by lorimer on May 25, 2012 - 0 answers

Know any trailers that spoil the film?

Speculation abound that the new Dark Knight Rises trailer actually contains plot spoilers. Can anyone think of other movie trailers that actually give away the movie ending? Clearly this doesn't apply to movies that were books first.
posted by msali on May 23, 2012 - 25 answers

This Is Your Script . . . This Is Your Script Unplugged

Looking for more examples of a plot. Well, more of a structure really. The one from Noises Off, where you are shown how the story should go, then they go through it again, only this time everything goes wrong. Bonus points if they go through it a third time, and it absolutely explodes. [more inside]
posted by Garm on May 6, 2012 - 18 answers

White Wolf is too prolific; help me, HiveMind!

Can you help me with a Vampire:the Requiem plot? [more inside]
posted by Sustainable Chiles on Mar 12, 2012 - 2 answers

Songs and movies that you know forwards and backwards.

Can you name any songs or movies which feature palindromic structures? In terms of music, I don't mean notes or lyrics, but the sections, eg, CVCBCVC. Movie patterns would be more loose, but one could be settings, eg, starts out in a house, then a car, then a plane, etc, ends in a car, then a house. Another pattern could be the entrance/exit of characters. [more inside]
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing on Sep 23, 2011 - 21 answers

What Do You Wish Sitcom Producers Knew?

In order to create an original show, I turn now to the Hive Mind. Please share with me your preferences and help me find the common threads and elements linking the best sitcoms to ever be broadcast! [more inside]
posted by EatTheWeak on Jul 15, 2011 - 27 answers

Seven cities in one!

Find my friend's book (by plot): Explorer describes seven(-ish) cities he visited... but in the end, it turns out they were all different descriptions of the same city.
posted by sibilatorix on May 26, 2011 - 4 answers

I hate it when I take a contract out on myself!

Here's the plot: what's the movie(s)? Character figures his/her life sucks but can not bring themselves to commit suicide, so they hire a hitman to do the job. Character finds out life is, in fact, worth living (typically falls in love) and tries to call off the hit but can't because the wheels are turning. [more inside]
posted by victors on Apr 5, 2011 - 16 answers

And it all turns out to be a dream.

Movie device solves everything trope? [more inside]
posted by theredpen on Mar 4, 2011 - 16 answers

Book with a non-human narrator

Name that book from very sketchy details. Published sometime around the year 2000; the twist at the end is that the protagonist is not human (more within). [more inside]
posted by rhymer on Jan 24, 2011 - 8 answers

Same bat-time, different bat-place. Or Different bat-time, same bat-place.

Movies, shows, or even commercials where a plot twist revolves around two characters (or sets of characters) appearing to be in the same physical location throughout, only to reveal that they were each in different places the whole time, or were in the same place but at different times? [more inside]
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing on Jan 17, 2011 - 38 answers

If machaivalli invited the lads around for an evening, what games would they play?

Machiavelli Filter: I'm looking for games in which I can lie to, betray, manipulate and sow discord among my friends. All in the name of supreme victory fun, of course. [more inside]
posted by metaBugs on Jan 11, 2011 - 51 answers

The Ups and Downs of Literary Friendship

Seeking recommendations for books focusing on tight-knit groups of friends. [more inside]
posted by 1901gunner on Dec 3, 2010 - 32 answers

Help me stop being Shyamalan

Why is the script for The Last Airbender movie so bad? [more inside]
posted by giggleknickers on Nov 22, 2010 - 25 answers

What was the frakking plan?

Bet settling filter Re: Battlestar Galatica and the idea that the Cylons had a plan. [more inside]
posted by nomadicink on Nov 15, 2010 - 18 answers

I wanna get him off

Help me with a fictional plot: I want a character to commit a murder, and then (after some mental turmoil etc lasting several months) hand himself in to the police. However, with no evidence of this murder, and with as little as possible description of police procedure on my part, I want the guy to be released. What would be the smoothest way to achieve this? [more inside]
posted by cincinnatus c on Nov 9, 2010 - 31 answers

Needle in a bottle. Needle in a bottle, yeah.

About ten years ago, I read the first two books in a sci-fi trilogy involving a world that had some kind of accelerated decay problem. Also, there were giant, intelligent ants. [more inside]
posted by thehmsbeagle on Oct 16, 2010 - 5 answers

How to find a movie title from remembered details?

How to find a movie title, given plot details? On the web, without bothering humans. [more inside]
posted by exphysicist345 on Oct 11, 2010 - 4 answers

What are some movies whose plots begin with their conclusions?

What are some examples of movies that open with their concluding scene or climax and then work backwards from there? [more inside]
posted by cymru_j on Sep 16, 2010 - 62 answers

How to find all roots of a function in two variables?

I've got a long function with two variables, encoding - I suspect - a hidden message. Most likely, the message is somehow encoded in the function's roots. Is there any good software to plot a function in two dimensions and only show the points where it evaluates to zero? [more inside]
posted by Triton on Aug 15, 2010 - 7 answers

"Oh no, " she breathed, "I couldn't and neither could you."

Plot issue - ethically taking up with the spouse's best friend. [more inside]
posted by b33j on Aug 1, 2010 - 38 answers

help me complicate my life

Please recommend mystery/thriller novels with incredibly complex plots. [more inside]
posted by grumblebee on Jun 4, 2010 - 39 answers

Like Spy vs Spy only more complex.

Books, films etc where the protgonist and antagonist are both "right"? [more inside]
posted by The otter lady on Apr 25, 2010 - 38 answers

What does this plot element mean in Damages Season 1?

Plot question about the first season of Damages. (Beware spoilers.) [more inside]
posted by meerkatty on Mar 20, 2010 - 3 answers

Schadenfreude filter: I am looking for music videos that clearly convey a sad plot.

Schadenfreude filter: I am looking for music videos that clearly convey a sad plot. Happy ending acceptable, but not necessary. [more inside]
posted by derogatorysphinx on Mar 10, 2010 - 39 answers

Examples of fiction books based on dreams?

The story of Stuart Little is supposedly based on a dream E.B. White had while sleeping on a train. Can you give more examples of books that are directly based on an author's dreams (or nightmares)?
posted by iamisaid on Jan 24, 2010 - 14 answers

You know that book, with the alien blob crystal things?

What'sThisBook-ForAFriend filter: novel about aliens that are blob-shaped and eventually come in contact with humans? [more inside]
posted by jacalata on Dec 30, 2009 - 6 answers

What software can plot non-trivial functions?

What software can I use to plot functions? Excel and matplotlib seem to only plot data points. gnuplot plots simple functions but not the generalized harmonic number, which I need, e.g., H(n,1.5). It would be great if this software can also plot inverse functions, e.g. x=f(y) on a normal x-y axis to overlay on a normal y=f(x) plot.
posted by tasty on Dec 4, 2009 - 13 answers

This sounds really familiar...

How do authors ensure that they aren't copying older stories? [more inside]
posted by amicamentis on Nov 30, 2009 - 15 answers

What is a triangular graph with axes perpendicular to the sides called?

What is the graph or plot called which: - is an equilateral triangle - has three axes - each axes is perpendicular to a side of the triangle? [more inside]
posted by Peter Petridish on Oct 28, 2009 - 10 answers

Hayfield to vegetable garden - how?

How to turn an abandoned field into a productive vegetable garden? [more inside]
posted by unSane on Sep 29, 2009 - 17 answers

PS3 franchises with story but little backstory?

What video game franchises in the current generation would be good to pick up for the first time? [more inside]
posted by Riki tiki on Sep 24, 2009 - 20 answers

I need examples of multi-threaded narratives in film and video games.

Looking for multi-threaded narratives in film and video games, such as Pulp Fiction or Go. [more inside]
posted by ga$money on Sep 11, 2009 - 51 answers

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