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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Save the Cat

I never quite understood the relationship between screenwriting and novel writing.Then fellow blogger Karin Gillespie over at A Good Blog is Hard to Find recommended, actually raved about, Save the Cat. So I did what anybody trying to figure out the whole structure thing would do, I bought the book. Karin's right. Not only is is easy to read and tremendously helpful, it's written in a way that even the thickest-headed writer-by-the- seats-of-your-pants can understand.

I'll never write a screenplay, or anything other than what I'm doing right now, but the ideas in that book are worth thinking on.

A recent post by the Story Fix Guy echoed why this approach works. Screenwriting to novel writing, that is. Here's a bit of what he says. Click here to read the rest:

Some writers, especially organic writers, fear that the application of principles, rules, criteria and structural guidelines somehow suppresses the creative process and compromises the end product. That particular fear will kill your publishing dream. To publish, you need to believe the exact opposite. To publish, your story must be wildly original, creative, compelling and fresh in a way that it reinvents whatever genre you are writing in. But… you need to do all that within a box. Within the constraints of, and in disciplined accordance with, the principles of storytelling. If you don’t have complete command of those principles, you won’t publish. Because your story, however wild and compelling and fresh, won’t fly without them.

2 comments:

Anne said...

I totally understand this -- in order for me to write my first full novel, I had to take a Hardy Boys mystery and dissect it chapter by chapter. What happened and to whom. Once I could see the structure, I could write my own story. Before doing this, I would get a third to half way through and then get bogged down or lost. I needed to see the "box" around the story.

Joy Weese Moll (@joyweesemoll) said...

Thanks for this. It covered some different aspects than I did in my review of Save the Cat, so I linked to yours.