Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Wednesday Reads: Save the Cat!
Screenwriting? you ask. Ah ha! Let's stop focusing so much on the minuties of writing shall we? It is, after all, NaNoWriMo, in which you furiously scribble as much as you can without thought of writing details. Instead, let's think about plot, character arch. Maybe you get a week in, couple 10K and suddenly you have no idea where to go. Browsing a book solely on plot and character (told in a witty voice that will hold your attention) might help you must through.
Brownie Points: Snyder offers us tips on how to plot before you even write, how to think about each scene and arch (character and plot) to keep you on track. With charts and worksheets! Blake's Beat Sheet might be one of the most useful tools you'll ever need as a writer.
Beefs: It is a book about screenwriting. It's not necessarily a bad thing. I found it fascinating to learn about the movie business, how movies are thought up and planned out--parallels the book business in many aspects. Some readers may find it tedious and want to scream, But I'm a Writer! You watch movies, don't you? It's great practice for when you don't have time to read. Watch movies in your genre (the equivalent of) and deconstruct their plot and character arches.
Recommendation: I believe everyone should at least take a look at this book (what can it hurt?). But those who often find themselves hitting writer's block or are told that their plots are slow or their characters need work, should read it. Take notes. Study. Apply.
Have you read Save the Cat!? Would you recommend it to other writers? Or, to you, is it a waste of time for writers?
What are your favorite writing guides to refer to others and revisit yourselves?