Most of you probably follow Elana. Several weeks ago she blogged about a book called Save the Cat by Blake Snyder. It's a book about screenwriting, but it helped Elana figure out the problem with the first chapter of her novel.
Eureka! I ordered the book immediately, because I LOATHE my first chapter. My opening scene just feels wrong. It feels hokey, like I'm trying to jump in the middle of a BIG scene and falling flat.
The book tells us there are 15 beats in a screenplay, and describes each one. I think my opening scene better fits Beat 4, The Catalyst. I never let the reader get a glimpse of my MC's normal life, showing what she wants. (Rather, what she thinks she wants.) I also didn't introduce any of the other characters, which the book says should happen in Beat 3, The Set Up. I think I need to go back and write a new first chapter, hopefully one that hooks the reader AND helps the reader to care about the MC.
So, now I've been wondering about the rest of my novel. How alike are the beats of a movie and a novel? I've been debating whether or not my novel should fit into Blake Snyder's Beat Sheet. Or am I completely overthinking it?
Are you familiar with the Beat Sheet? If so, how closely aligned with it do you think a novel should be?
Also, Elle Strauss blogged about this book yesterday! She filled us in on how the book teaches you to write a logline. I loved this part of the book. It's a great resource for creating your logline, and Elle has it broken down for us. Check her out if you haven't already!