Monday, May 16, 2011
What's It About?
I recently read the wonderful Save the Cat by Blake Snyder. It is billed as the last book on screenwriting that you'll ever need.
That better be true.
Good thing I'm not working on screenplays anyway though.
The point is, it is a fantastic book when it comes to story structure and keeping to the beats in your story.
There are a number of things Snyder advises that I was very happy to find I did naturally = such as his "Save the Cat" theme - denoting having the main character do something at the beginning of your story to make the viewer/reader LIKE and ROOT for them.
The other big point I've been pondering is the root of everyone asking What is the story about. Snyder says he doesn't start writing anything without a logline - a simple sentence that says what the story is about in an enticing and (he recommends ironic) tone.
That hit me like a ton of bricks.
I could not (at least off the top of my head) come up with a single sentence about Heroes of the Fallen & Blood of Our Fathers...yet.
At the Storymakers conference I ended up having Sarah Eden read that, "Heroes of the Fallen is a Book of Mormon historical with Pulp Fiction sensibilities," as I drew the winning name for a giveaway.
(I think a gal that also writes B of M fiction won my book, so that was a kick in the teeth-haha don't think she asked to get her picture taken with me.)
Anyhow, I can't say that that is a particularly good logline but it is better than telling someone a whole paragraph and losing them along the way.
For my other works in progress I have come up with these at least for now.
GODS & ROBBERS: A colorful ensemble of rogues risk unleashing the apocalypse when they steal a "god" from a sorcerous Godfather.
MIDNIGHT SONS: A pair of superstitious soldiers and a haunted psychic are charged with hunting down sorcerous war criminals.
Granted I may change these a bit in the future, but they give a clear vista of what the story is about and where its going.
Snyder recommends having a good adjective for the hero and one for the villain-and yes I used the same one for each work on the villain but hey - they're fantasy stories.
Save the Cat has a lot more than these couple of things I mentioned going for it-these are just what struck me to blog about at 3 am.