Okay, I must admit when I first started writing, I was not a planner. I had the story in my head from beginning to end, and I felt I didn't need to plot my story on paper. The scenes came hard and fast. I barely had enough to write them out. Even with that said, I did do a small bit of plotting in the way of plot mapping. I thought it was enough, but clearly it wasn't.
This past week, I have emersed myself in a book that has literally changed my outlook on writing. It has helped me with planning so my manuscript is healthy. One thing I have learned in reading this fantastic book (**Yes, I will tell you the name of the book. Give me a moment...) is that your plot structure should have a heartbeat. Fifteen beats to be exact. If you miss a beat, your story could die. I don't mean to be so meladramatic, but this was a crucial A-HA moment for me.
Okay, the book was suggested by Elana Johnson (Author of the 2011 Debut, POSSESSION), and I had to see what she was so excited about! It's SAVE THE CAT by Blake Snyder (R.I.P. Mr. Snyder!). If you haven't read it, you should. Immediately. I mean it. Stop reading this post and go buy yourself a copy!!
The Blake Snyder Beat Sheet (Plot Structure Sequence) has transformed how I think about structure. Yes, it's a screenwriting book, but the pulse of a story really works like this. I have been studying movies that I really like this week to see how the story unfolds structurally. Tomorrow, I will be posting the beat sheet for my favorite movie this year: Letters To Juliet. Stay tuned.
At the end of the week, I will be doing a contest for a copy of this fabulous book!!!! Thanks ELANA for the great suggestion!!!
If you have read this book, what are your thoughts?