Friday, May 4, 2012

Save the Cat

So I've been going back and forth between two different projects to work on for my next novel. I finally decided I would plot them both out and see what struck me as the way to go. The problem is, I am really hating the plotting process. My last novel was a total seat of the pants, I don't know how this ends, shot in the dark, word fest. I'm still in awe that I have something to show for it all because I have no idea how I got there.

I've been working with yWriter to help me plot out my next book because I realized how much harder it was to edit when your first draft is a heaping pile of poo. The program is great, really, but I hate it.

So I went prowling on the internet because I can procrastinate there and call it research. I'd heard about the Save the Cat beat sheet tons, but I'd never been able to make it work for a novel. But all that changed when I came across an amazing post by Jessica Brody. She breaks down the beat sheet and uses some great examples. For the first time the sheet actually made sense to me.
His face says, please help me write a novel
So....I took my new dystopian idea and sat down with the sheet. I was a bit nervous about this because my idea for the plot only went so far as the trouble my MC gets into. I hadn't yet figured out how she would get out of trouble.

The good news is that once I put pen to paper (yes, I actually wrote this out in a weird hope it would help my creative juices) the ideas started to flow. In about an hour I plotted out the main points of the whole novel from start to finish.

Now, there are plenty of details that will need to be filled in. But now, I can't wait to start really outlining this thing. Plus, I know going in that as long as I stick to the sheet I will have all the major plot points covered. Somehow, the knowledge that I won't end up with a book that goes on and on without going anywhere is reassuring.

So, I'm going back to yWriter and were going to try to make this work. Wish me luck!

5 comments:

  1. Oh great! This inspires me. I have yWriter installed, but haven't taken the time to learn it. I can't wait to check out the post you referred to by Jessica Brody. I'm running out the door now, but it's on my list! Thanks! Oh .. and congrats!!
    :-)

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    1. Jessica's post was wonderful. I hope it helps you as much as it helped me.

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  2. YAY! Thanks for the shout out! I'm glad my post helped you! Also on the same blog, I did a beat sheet for the Hunger Games Novel and a movie/novel comparison! Good luck with your novel!

    -Jessica

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    1. Thanks, Jessica! Your post was a huge help. Going to check out the Hunger Games post now!

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  3. Thank you and Jessica so much! I ordered Snyder's two Save the Cat books in March, but they never arrived. (Things from the US are way too tempting for Egyptian postal workers to pass up.) I tried to order from bookstores here, but they won't do it. Her article is as close as I've come to those books, and it's super helpful. Yay!

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