Posted by: Jodi | October 11, 2010

Plot Flowcharts

There are probably hundreds of different ways to organize a plot line but when I saw this I knew I had to share it.  The creative minds at XKCD have created a movie narrative chart that is as useful as it is fun to look at, here it is:

Click here for the full size version

I wanted to give it a try with a plot that most of you might be familiar with, “The Princess Bride” movie.  This was the best I could do without resorting to paper and pens.  Click on the image to zoom in.

I thought this was a great idea to help keep things organized, let me know what you think.

Happy Plotting!

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Responses

  1. That is pretty creepy looking. Amazing how complex it can get. I’ve also used the mind-mapping softward Freemind for plotting, though it seems to work better for organizing notes.

    • Haven’t heard of Freemind, I’ll have to look it up – thanks for the heads up!

  2. I’ve done this before. There is a piece of software called Witers Blocks which supports an excellent form of flow-charting, it’s free, I think, as well–or very inexpensive.

    I was really excited when I saw that Pirimer was included with the charts, then when I saw it, not so much. All the movie is about time travel, there are more characters than displayed, and not so many loops. I think someone is playing a joke on us with that one.

    Still, cool post.

    • I’ll have to check out Writers Blocks – sounds like a great piece of software. Between you and Michael I’ll be “in” on all the cool tools. I think the Primer one is a joke as well, would be insane to try to map out a time travel plot chart. Might be fun to try…

  3. Oh my god, I shudder at the horror that is Lord of the Rings. Thank god I’ll never have any desire to write Epic fantasy. I like your Princess Bride one, looks nice and orderly 🙂

    • I really wanted to make one in the same style as the ones by XKCD but time was a problem and my handwriting another one. Still would like to someday. The Lord of the Rings in my favorite because it captures each event so clearly.

  4. I love Twelve Angry Men. And that’s my kind of plotting . . . twelve parallel lines. 😉

    Nice job with Princess Bride . . . and with embedding your work to share with us.

    • My husband had to rent 12 angry men after seeing the chart, just came in Netflix so I know what I’ll be doing tonight!

  5. very interesting. mind boggling, really. thx

  6. Clearly I need to learn more about plotting. I’ve never tried anything similar to this.

    • I want to sit down and do it with my current manuscript to see how it looks, I don’t know how helpful it will be to the writing process but it might reveal issues with the flow.


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