Saving the Cat

There’s this trope suggested by Blake Snyder in his book called (not surprisingly) “Save the Cat” that suggests a scene early in your story (screenplay, novel, whatever) that puts your hero in a situation that makes him look good. And not just makes him look good, but actually demonstrates the hero’s “goodness”. It’s a shortcut. In […]

The Heart of the Story

Structure is but a small thing. A little bit of concentration and you can sort that shit out in about twenty minutes. Make sure you hit the plot points and the pinch points and you’ve “nailed” structure. Structure is knowing that a sound basement goes on the bottom, a waterproof roof sits on top and […]

Your Midpoint

Linearity bores readers. Inexorable drive to a conclusion is good, but readers want twists and turns. And I strongly recommend creating as many hurdles for your hero to overcome as (internally) logically possible. But take a moment and think about your poor reader, waist-deep in your book, absolutely certain they know where you, the writer, is […]

The First Plot Point

This is, without a doubt, the most important scene in your story. This scene needs to take your protagonist out of their status quo and commit them to the rest of the story arc. Without this scene, you have no story. A brief word on semantics. Some call this the inciting incident. Some call it […]

Story Deconstruction – Time After Time

Time After Time (1979) 1h 52min (112 minutes) Log Line: H.G. Wells pursues Jack the Ripper to the 20th Century when the serial murderer uses the future writer’s time machine to escape his time period. Director: Nicholas Meyer Writers: Karl Alexander (story), Steve Hayes (story) |1 more credit » Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Mary Steenburgen, David Warner |See full cast […]

Forget About Structure

No, there isn’t an interloper posting. Although it’s been long enough that I wouldn’t be surprised if you thought I was an imposter. Especially with that title. I’m me, though. [Monkey nuts, by the way.] And, really, you can’t forget about structure until you’ve well and truly learned it. It needs to be as instinctive […]