Lost in your story? Here are some tools to help find the way.

I was just in a on-line discussion with a group of authors. One of them had lost his way in the novel he was writing, and a number of us, knowing the "lost realm" well, suggested the tools we used to help us get back on track. 

cat

I recommended Blake Snyder's Save the Cat. I'm using his system now to help me see the shape of the two YA's I'm writing, and I used it last year, as well, to find my way out of the maze of The Next Novel. His book is irreverent, far-from-literary, but it gives you plot basics with a good dash of humour. Plus, it's short and to the point. 

journey

Another author recommended "The Hero's Journey",  a fantastic on-line site—here—based on the great book by Volger, The Writer's Journey.

journey

Both these books are written for scriptwriters. My own conviction is that scriptwriters are story-specialists, and that novelists can learn a great deal from them. 

 

  • http://www.facebook.com/kriswaldherr Kris Waldherr

    I adore screenwriting books. My personal favorite is THE ANATOMY OF STORY by John Truby. It’s filled with wisdom about pushing story structure beyond the traditional three act Aristotle-inspired plot.

    • http://www.sandragulland.com Sandra Gulland

      I adore Truby too, Kris. I have The Anatomy of Story, plus a number of his tapes, and for a time I used his software, which unfortunately is not at all Mac-friendly now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/johannaarina Johanna van Zanten

    Hi Sandra,
    Thanks for that very helpful post. I will certainly use the info now that I am starting on my third novel, using all the help I can get. Looking forward to your new novels.
    Johanna

    • http://www.sandragulland.com Sandra Gulland

      Thank you Johanna — and “bon courage”!