Saving my skin

I can’t believe I’ve ever written a novel (and I’ve written a few now) without Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat book and his BS2 plotting board. Although this book was written for screenwriters, and is all about creating a blockbuster movie, the principles are largely transferable to the novel and his insights have Blown My Mind!

the BS2 board... complete with cat

A lot of the information I either knew from having attended writers’ workshops, or I had picked up intuitively, yet the way Blake Snyder writes this book is infectiously energising (and funny) and made me totally reassess the way I’ve written books before. Structure has always been the part of my writing that I’ve needed to work on the most. And this book just nails it so succinctly that structure is now my most favourite aspect of writing. Yes, I knew about the three-act structure, the midpoint and the quantity of words in every act. But I just didn’t love it the way this book makes me love it. And I didn’t have all those signposts within the acts that I can now turn to for support when I’ve lost my way. Suddenly, bridging the darkness of “the middle” is not as frightening.

Do yourself a favour and buy yourself a copy of this bestselling book. You won’t be disappointed.

There’s a lot of blank spots on there at the moment. I”ve just about finished the first act (and actually let out a hoot of excitement when I physically saw the missing part at the end of act one) and am now heading into the wilderness of act two. Wish me luck!

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