Ideas for story structure: Save the Cat by Blake Snyder

Ok. I’ve proven we can apply the Hero’s journey to the flash fiction story.  I’m done with that.  Here’s new stuff according to Ma and the book she is currently reading.keep it joyous(The photo is me in India with my two friends. Maybe I’ll talk about that some time….)

Ideas for story structure:

I’m reading “Save the Cat” by Blake Snyder.  In my house are two rooms with wall to wall bookshelves on archaeology and writing techniques.  This book is a keeper for the shelf.  I’m not donating it.  Yet.  Screenwriting “how to books” are useful for the writer of stories, but this one is more useful.  I like formula plug-ins.  Snyder discusses the “beats” of writing a script (for me, the beats of writing a novel story) and basic plug in criteria.  Here is Snyder’s beat sheet: BS2 Fill in the blanks for your story.   Write your logline before you write your story and after expressing your story premise in one line, apply the beat sheet.

Here’s the beat sheet applied to Miss Congeniality, the movie with Sandra Bullock.

1. Great title:    Miss Congeniality

2. Theme statement: a scene where we “get” the subject.  Sandra decides she is FBI and femininity has no place in her life.

3. Set-up: set up your story by page 10

4. Catalyst:   (inciting action)  The call to adventure.    The murder threat at the American Miss Pageant.

5. Debate:  Can she pull it off?

6. Break the Act in two

7. Fun and games: classic promise of the premise.   Have fun with this one

8. The story:  Sandra interacts with the “girl world”  She discovers her feminine side

9. Midpoint: new threat     Trouble starts again

10: Bad Guys Close In:   Sandra doubts herself, deepening conflict with the mentor

11. All is lost:   She must stand down or be fired.   Make your darlings miserable.

12. Dark night of the soul: Sandra has an identity crisis- neither FBI agent or woman.

13: Break into third act

14. Finale:  Resolution    She can be tough and sexy

15. Final Image:  Sandra receives the Miss Congeniality award

Happy Ending!

We’ve got the Hero’s Journey and the Snyder beat sheet.  See what you can do with them.

Kaye LindenIdeas for story structure: Save the Cat by Blake Snyder

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