If you’re thinking about doing NaNo, but worry you won’t be able to make your way over the hurdles when you reach them (because you know they’ll be there), then I’m here to help.
I’ve raved about the screenwriting book, Save The Cat before, but today and Friday I’ll take you through a couple STC steps that you can use for NaNo this year. I have every confidence that if you use these STC steps in a short period of time (it took my just under two hours to get a book very well outlined), you’ll have an outline that’ll guide through even the darkest of NaNo hours.
So, STC lesson #1: BS2, by the numbers. Copy the document below and fill in a sentence or two that addresses that “beat” or plot point. You can go here to get an approximate breakdown of where these beats should land in your manuscript, depending on the anticipated length of your novel.
*I’m purposely vague on the description of the beats because I don’t want to plagiarize Mr. Snyder’s work. I think there’s enough here to get you on your way, but if you want to learn more, I highly recommend purchasing the book (also available for download). Here’s the link for Amazon’s page.
If you’d like more information, there’s lots to learn on Blake Snyder’s website.
THE BLAKE SNYDER BEAT
1. Opening Image: Set the scene.
2. Theme Stated: What will your character’s arc be? What is the moral of your story? Usually the theme is stated by a supporting character.
3. Set-up: Pretty self-explanatory, right? This is where all the pieces are put into play.
4. Catalyst: Again, you know this one. A chain of events that set things into motion.
5. Debate: This is where your MC has to make some decisions about what he’s going to do.
6. Break in to Two: The transition from static MC to MC on the move.
7. B Story: This is where you move into the second act of your story, or, the dreaded middle section. (duh duh duhhhh) It’s usually the B story, or the love story, or the big action/adventure story of your book.
8. Fun and Games: Pretty much more of all the love, the action or … whatever! (Yeah, you can tell I love mid-sections!)
9. Midpoint: This is like a mini act-break. It’s the corner you turn toward the second half of your book, like your MC is standing on a cliff and needs to decide: fight or flight?
10. Bad Guys Close In: Your MC hasn’t jumped, but the bad guys are almost there and …. maybe there’s still time to jump!
11. All is Lost: It looks like the Bad Guys are going to win. Sad. 🙁
12. Dark Night of the Soul: Your MC has to decide if he’s just going to give in, or if there’s still some fight left in him.
13. Break into Three: Another all-important corner. This is where the MC makes his DECISION. And we being our movement forward with purpose.
14. Finale: Wrap up the B story, wrap up the A story.
15. Final Image: Usually a mirror image of the opening scene. This shows us how the MC’s life has changed, how the theme played out and how all the questions you posed are answered.
And there you have it! Friday I’ll show you how to make your very own storyboard, screenwriter style.
Do you have any questions about what I listed here? Or anything you’d like to add?