My husband and I were watching tv last night when a friend texted to let us know about the earthquake and warn us to get to high ground. We live less than a mile from the beach, but actually we are up on a bluff and behind a hill, so I'm never too worried about waves. But we in California think about earthquakes more often than folks in the rest of the country, and to see our worst nightmare play out on those poor people in Japan is horrifying. We stayed up until the middle of the night watching the news and reading reactions on Twitter. I wish everyone in Japan the best and hope that the loss of life is moderated by their excellent infrastructure.
A few of you were asking about Save the Cat after my last post. I haven't finished reading it yet, but I'm already finding it quite useful and wish I'd read it before writing my first draft. It's written for screenwriters, but it's a manual for how to craft a good, satisfying story, and reading it may help you find some areas in your manuscript that could use beefing up.
The part of the book that's been most useful for me so far is the opening section on finding your hook. Some writers may have no trouble crafting a catchy pitch, while others (like me) can't help but revert to a bland, general description of the overall plot that sounds about as exciting as the user manual for an air conditioner. Thinking about Snyder's four essential elements to a pitch (irony, visual image, audience and title), and imagining which scenes would compose a movie trailer for my book helped me to back away from the plot and examine it from different angles. It's so easy to have the original story idea get so embedded in your mind that it's hard to pull up some of the stakes and move them around, but these tricks have helped me to do just that.
I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the book, particularly the chapter on troubleshooting your story after it's finished. I bought it for my Kindle so that I would have a searchable copy. Also because I am a digital gal who needs instant gratification. I want it now!
|Best movie ever.|