Friday, February 4, 2011

On my Bedside Table

Happy Friday! It's the weekend. Sunday's the Super Bowl. Life is good.

And it's book blog hop Friday hosted by Jennifer at Crazy-for-Books where you hop from blog to blog meeting new bloggers and answering a weekly question. The topic this week:

What are you reading now and why are you reading it?

Currently by my bedside table, in the teacher bag, in the car on the way anywhere...

Really? I'm not a screenplay writer. So why am I reading it?

Well, my CP Ricki raved about it. Thought it would resonate well with me because it breaks any effective screenplay down into beats and she sent me the mathematical breakdown for novels based on their word count. A mathematical analysis of novels? Dude, I'm in.

Then, Elana Johnson extolled it on her blog. As did my CP Melissa.

And then Melissa sent me a copy in the mail.

Holy 75000 watt lightbulb.

Yeah, talk about the book of aha moments. And I'm only on chapter three.

Allow me to share only a sparkle of Blake Snyder's brilliance (PS - I'll come back weekly to share more - it's that good)

* liking the person we go on a journey with is the single most important element in drawing us into a story (ahem... Save the Cat!) I already knew this, but it was too good not to share.

*the number one thing a good logline (aka your one-sentence description as to what your book or project is about) must have, the single most important element, is irony

ex: A newly married couple must spend Christmas Day at each of their four divorced parent's homes

Know that one? (4 Christmases) See the irony? Me too.

Snyder shared a lot more intro stuff that I already knew or didn't know, but the one that really sent my mind spinning:

*your pitch must include a killer title

Well, yeah. But I never stressed about it because my naive self figured why spin my wheels on an amazeballs title when someone could sweep in and change it. It's been known to happen. Stephenie Meyer's original Twilight title was Forks.

One of my CP's has been big time stressing about the title to her manuscript. I finally understand why. Don't get me wrong - I've been through several title changes for two of my projects, but frankly I still hate what I eventually settled on. So, now I have a new mission: come up with a title that tells exactly what my project is about without being as long as For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf which - PS - is totally fabulous. I need something completely telling and selling like Legally Blonde. Or Rear Window. Or Bruce Almighty.

Blake Snyder's already given me a lot to ponder. I can't wait to dive back in and start applying his secrets for success to my completed and future projects. And I'll share some of his brilliance with you too! Stay tuned. I may just figure out this writing-a-novel thing. And have an incredible learning journey at the same time. And that's one killer concept.


  1. Hopping through. It would be interesting to learn about writing screenplays. And the cat on the cover is cute :-)
    My Hop

  2. Sounds really interesting, I'll have to check it out! Love the blog title too =)

    Have a nice weekend!

    ~Anne (

  3. Umm...I like to write novels, but not if I have to break them down mathematically. Nope, nope, nope. No way! LOL.

    Good luck w/ the screen play writing.

  4. I've got 'Save the Cat' on my TBR list, I think this post just moved it up a few notches!
    - Sophia.

  5. Great post, Alison!

    @Beth -- You don't have to break it down mathematically. I just did because it helped me better apply the principles Snyder was using to a fiction manuscript instead of a screenplay. Made it easier.

  6. Nice post, Thanks for your very useful Information, I will bookmark for next reference


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