Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Save the Cat !!!

photo courtesy Catherine Dubois, my editor

Yesterday, I blogged about finding time to write.  Since I believe I have met very few people who don't want to write a book, I don't think anyone needs me to tell him or her what to write about.

I can tell you how to learn  how to write. Find a book by Blake Snyder entitled Save the Cat. http://www.blakesnyder.com/  Read it.  Do what he tells you to do--exactly what he tells yo to do, and you will have a pretty good book. Period...

I have read  six other books on writing (there are hundreds more) and I have been post-graduate schooled in writing, but none of that helped me for spit. Blake Snyder's book is fun to read, lighthearted, direct, and simple.

Although Snyder is telling you how to write a screenplay, the principles apply to literary fiction. Follow it exactly. I know I said that above. Maybe you need to hear it again. Follow his plotting guidelines exactly. No, as a first time writer, this formula will not hamper your creativity. You are not James Joyce. If you were James Joyce and living today no one would read you anyway. You have to be dead to be James Joyce. Plot your book and develop characters according to Blake Snyder. Did I mention that you are not James Joyce?

After you have the book written, have a competent editor edit it. Maybe talk to my editor, whose link is in the "links" list. Her name is Catherine and she will drive you crazy.  You deserve to be driven crazy because you are a novice (bad) writer, and being driven crazy is just punishment for thinking you can actually write something readable. Pay someone to clean up your mess.

So let me recap:  Sit on your ass. Write a book the way Blake Snyder tells you to. Have it edited. Learn to dumpster dive or marry a doctor while you wait to be published.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, J. --

    I'm going to hunt down Blake Snyder's book. However, there is one bit of advice I can't follow, I'm afraid I won't learn how to dumpster-dive. Nursing is enough. :-)

    Connie B.