Nanowrimo misses the mark on Venn diagrams

October 11, 2012

One of the big things in the new 2012 Nanowrimo merchandise is a Venn diagram theme. There are Venn Diagram stickers available and two different t-shirts.

Now, this may be my math nerdiness shining brightly through, but I’ve noticed a bit of a stealth trend of Venn diagrams in pop culture and merchandising, if only in the arena that’s already nerd-culture-friendly. And one thing I think that you have to do, to properly deliver on a Venn diagram motif in your merchandising, is to pay attention to those three double-overlap areas flanking the center of the diagram. What does it mean if you have two pieces of the puzzle, but not the third?

Alastair from Storywonk gets it. He didn’t unfortunately label his overlap areas in the show notes from Storywonk Sunday 21: Furious Robot Sex, but he did reference them in the podcast audio. The overlap between Character and Plot might be labeled ‘Soap opera/Sitcom’, (with an asterisk noting that there’s nothing preventing a really good soap opera or sitcom from discussing great themes and moving into the center,) the overlap between Character and Idea would be ‘Room with a view’, and the overlap between Idea and Plot would be ‘Golden Age Sci-Fi.’ And the Michael Bay Transformers movies, from which we get the tongue-in-cheek title of the episode, are consigned to the outer edges of the bubble marked ‘Plot.’

The best example of being really clever with a Venn diagram, to me, is the Doctor Who Venn Diagram t-shirt. Here, they take three timeless and fun aspects of the Doctor Who franchise, and show how rival franchises can only claim two out of three, thus illustrating why Doctor Who is vastly superior. 🙂

So, I’m calling on fellow Wrimos to help me out. Take one of the Venn diagram designs from the merchandising I linked to above and tell me what should be in the double-overlap spaces. Or come up with a brand-new Nano Venn diagram of your own – but label all three of the double-overlap zones. (Or at least one?)

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