I Think This Book Just Changed My Life

… my writing life, anyway.

It’s this:

Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat.

A fellow Golden Heart finalist recommended it in one of our loops, saying she always had trouble with plotting, and this was the first book on plotting she could actually wrap her head around.

Since I have a sadly similar affliction (and am currently stuck on my current manuscript’s midpoint), I thought I’d give it a shot.

And WOW. Oh wow. …

I get this now.

I’d learned similar things in other classes — midpoints and turning points and writing in acts and whatnot — but Blake Snyder really spells it all out here with points in between those points. That’s what I needed! I needed to know how to get from Point A to Point B, where the subplot fits in, where you solve some of the “little problems” you brought up in Act I, how to make the midpoint different, etc., and he spells all this out and more. Yee-haw!

I devoured the whole book last night, and tonight I’m on my way to buy my whiteboard.

Ready to plot with some confidence!

Yee-haw.

 

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2 thoughts on “I Think This Book Just Changed My Life

  1. Yes! Me too. I had to read it for my MFA and it so changed how I looked at my story that I ended up adapting my GH finalist ms to a screenplay just to see how the “beats” work. (Also stuck in the Save the Cat! moment, etc., etc.)

    I’m a “pantser” so most craft books make my head ache, particularly if they start with, “First, buy some 3×5″ cards.” Snyder’s book is such a breath of fresh air by comparison.

  2. I’m a “pantser,” too, Magdalen, and I’ve never been able to figure out how to combine the efficiency of plotting with the creativity of “pantsing.” But I think this might be the way for me! I’d like to try “pantsing” the first Act, see what themes/ problems/ motifs/ etc I’ve introduced, and then I think I can use his beats to help me lay out the rest. (The part right after the midpoint is always where I start flailing.)

    But I looooooooved so many tips in this book, from the “death introduction” at the “all is lost” moment to having “6 things that need to be fixed.” Brilliant…

    Do you have a whiteboard? I’m going all the way and trying that, too. 🙂

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