I Know I Haven’t Posted in a While…

But there are some AMAZING giveaways over at Sparkling Reviews today.  A Best Buy gift card, Apple stuff (Mac Book Pro, iPhone, iPad 2, iPad 3, Apple TV, etc), Coach gift card, a Kitchenaid mixer, Kobo reader…

Click here to go check it out NOW!

Good luck!  I hope you win something 🙂

Also, on a more writerly note, I wanted to write a bit about story structure.  Structure is something that I struggle with in my novels, but I made a break through in the last week (which is partially why I haven’t been blogging–I’ve been writing!).  I read SAVE THE CAT by Blake Snyder.  His “Beat Sheet” has been the most eye-opening chapter on structure that I’ve ever read.  Particularly the transitional beats–like the break into two, midpoint, and break into three.  He is working with the three act structure, but I guess I had just never really given enough emphasis to those three pieces.  They are like the spine of the story.  I’m embarrassed that I didn’t really get it before.

I’m going to list them here, but trust me when I say that reading Blake’s perspective on each individual beat is so much more helpful than anything I have ever read.  I’m not even going to attempt to explain each of these–most of them are pretty self-explanatory, and I’m having a hard time explaining each beat without completely plagiarizing Snyder anyway.  So here they are:
1. The Opening Image
2. Theme stated
3. Set-up
4. Catalyst
5. Debate
6. Break in Two
7. B Story
8. Fun and Games
9. Midpoint
10. Bad Guys Close In
11. All is Lost
12. Dark Night of The Soul
13. Break into Three
14. Finale
15. Final Image
In fact, if you’ve seen the movie Bridesmaids, Erik Bork lays out the beat sheet for that movie on his blog, and it’s really super-helpful to see where each piece falls:  Bridesmaids Beat Sheet

And there is a Tangled Beat Sheet, Star Wars (Part 1) (Part 2), (500) Days of Summer, District 9, UP, True Grit, and Kung-Fu Panda.

Have you read SAVE THE CAT?  Has the beat sheet been helpful for you in working with novel structure?

And don’t forget to head over to Sparkling Reviews for those giveaways!!

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6 comments

    • Crystal says:

      The giveaways were pretty awesome, but a little too good to be true you know? I figured I’d spread the word anyway. And thanks for tagging me, I’ll go check it out! 🙂

    • Crystal says:

      I put it off for a while, too, because a lot of time craft books can be pretty dense reading. This one is actually pretty light and super easy to read.

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