Select your Characters:
Jump to: Random
print this page

A semantic web of over 3,900 narrative situations, Storybase.net is a mind-opening portal into the English language. Rather than defining what a word means or offering lists of related words, Storybase.net illustrates meaning with groups of Situations. Storybase.net complements traditional lexicons such as Dictionary and Thesaurus with a potentially infinite layer of narrative content that can be personalized by each user. Storybase.net utilizes the suggestive power of language, offering a provocative new dimension to the word browsing experience. By focusing on 'primal' elements of human experience, the Situations contribute to a broader and more subtle understanding of words and concepts related to human conflict and human relationships.

There are two basic principles behind Storybase.net. The first is that each moment of human experience can be told as a story, illustrated by written language, in the form of discrete narrative elements, or Situations. Because humans are social beings (indeed, the capacity for language presumes a social context), the Situations always involve one or more Characters. Because human experience is by its nature a struggle for survival, the Characters always face some element of conflict. The Situations each contain at least one primary character who appears alone or in relation to one or two secondary characters. To avoid bias, the Situations are written according to strict stylistic rules, including the absence of gender-specific pronouns.

The second idea is that each moment of human experience can be considered from at least two perspectives:

1. the 'subjective' point of view of the 'primary' character who is experiencing the situation, and

2. the 'objective' or 'omniscient' point of view of a person detached from the situation but observing it from afar.

These two perspectives give rise to the two broad general categories of 'tags' in Storybase.net: Mindset and Action. This framework provides a logical structure for classifying the Situations.

Storybase.net and its predecessor, Storybase v2.0 began as a radical departure from Plots Unlimited, a DOS-based software program that was later published as a book, which itself represented a modernization of Plotto: A New Method of Plot Suggestion for Writers of Creative Fiction, written in 1928 by William Wallace Cook (Google Books Michigan Historical Markers), a prolific Canadian mystery writer who appears to have been influenced in his thinking by The 36 Dramatic Situations, written in the late 19th century by a French intellectual named Georges Polti, and first published in English in 1921. Polti was almost certainly influenced by Aristotle’s Poetics.

The content of Storybase.net was designed and written by Wylie Sawyer. Wylie can be contacted at .

Storybase 2.0 Software for Writers
Storybase 2.0 Software for Writers
Try the Windows version – Storybase 2.0 offers a more robust feature set and convenient offline access to an amazing clipboard of narrative writing prompts that can be personalized with your characters. A sure cure for writer’s block, Storybase 2.0 can help your writing project come alive.
Learn more
Click here to save $10 from Amazon.com!
Resources for Writers
Storybase 2.0 Softare for Writers (Windows)
The ultimate clipboard of storystarters and writing prompts

Screenwriting Software
ScriptBuddy is full-featured, web-based screenwriting software.