I write book reviews, I also write books, and occasionally I write about myself!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Wednesday on Writing...

It has been Easter bank holiday weekend here in the UK, which means that my husband had Friday and Monday off work. And typically it rained all of those 4 days, so nothing was really done other than having a nice relaxing long weekend. Of course by the end of Monday I was so ready for Richard to go back to work (!).

Anyway my point is, I didn't update this blog or do anything remotely work-like on Friday or Monday because of this. Weekends and holidays I like to relax and have a break rather than work.

I have called this blog post Wednesday on Writing and this is [I hope] going to be a regular post every Wednesday with an update or feature on writing.

Please email if you have any suggestions or contributions you would like me to feature.


I have been reading a few writing craft books recently, in an attempt to both improve my writing as well as kick my recent lack of motivation up it's bum!

The first book I decided to read is Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder.

Save the Cat! is a book that I have heard a lot about but never actually got round to reading. But I am so glad I have finally done so...

Not only is the book written with a fun and casual style, as though Blake Snyder is telling you all of this in a conversation, but it is also very useful. Especially if you ignore the amount of Steven Speilberg references (clang!).

Even though the book is written for screenwriters, most everything can be used by those of us writing other stuff. I have seen many authors recommending this book.

What I found most useful is the Logline, Beat Sheet and the advice on using The Board for plotting out your story before actually getting down to writing.

For me this was a revelation! I have no shame in admitting that I am a total pantser when it comes to writing, seriously... During my many years in higher education my essay plans were never longer than half an A4 sheet of paper! However I often hit walls and find certain bits that I want to include just simply don't fit or don't work, so by using The Board I hope this will help me not to hit these walls too often. Blake Snyder's rule of limiting the amount of cards used on it and structuring it round the Beat Sheet, I think, gives a nice balance. I can plot but still very much be a pantser!

I also liked Blake Snyder's honesty about writing, storytelling, and writers.

"To be a [screen]writer is to deal with an ongoing tug of war between breathtaking megolmania and insecurity so deep it takes years of therapy just to be able to say 'I am a writer' out loud"

Other great quotes that really gripped me are:

"Because liking the person we go on a journey with is the single most important element in drawing us into the story."

"A screenwriters daily conundrum is how to avoid cliche.
You can be near the cliche, you can dance around it, you can run right up to it and almost embrace it.
But at the last second you must turn away.
You must give it a twist."

So, I have done my logline and I am in the process of filling out my Beat Sheet whilst fiddling with index cards ready for The Board!

And what is really great about this book is that reading it has made me excited about writing again... hooray!


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