Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Save The Cat

I read Save The Cat yesterday. It was interesting, but after having read mixed reviews of the book and having thought about the pantser/tinker issue, I suppose it would be best to use Save The Cat for the editing process, and not the writing process. I think it would be best to just sit down and write the 110 pages needed for a manuscript and THEN read Save the Cat, and check if the characters and the structure is right, and so on.

I think it's interesting that Blake Snyder finds "Villains closing in" a difficult part of the manuscript. I think it's kind of natural. First you state the present and the reason why the present has to change. All stories are about change, so all movies are about change as well, so the status quo cannot stay, it has to change. Either because of inner reasons, which is what happens in a drama, or outer reasons, which is what happens in an action movie. (Put very loosely :-D )
Then you present how the main character starts changing, steps into act two, and the movie is all about play and games. This is where you put the jokes and such. It's like the phase in losing weight where you are full of motivation, you are losing weight, you get results, you are eager, willing and full of energy and do all kinds of things.
Then comes the midpoint, which is sort of a top (or low point, if that's how you want to play it) and after that everything changes. The week when no weight is lost, the week when you are full of resentment and resistance, you don't want to exercise, you don't want to watch what you are eating, you question your motivation, you wonder why you should lose weight in the first place, because you should be all fine what ever you are, and all the scary stories about heart attack and such are just boogie man stories, told to scare people to buy diet products. You're fine, you don't need to lose weight, you don't need to sacrifice and all that... You just don't care anymore, it's not worth it - and what happens is that the "villains" creep in. A week later you find out that you have eaten you back to where you started. You might even have a minor heart attack, something to scare you properly - perhaps someone dies because of obesity. That happens, you know. Humans are not created to weight over 100 kilos.
Then comes the mourning period, and it follows the stages of loss and grief. You cannot believe you spoiled your diet. You are angry at yourself for doing that. You are really sad because you failed. You are full of regret, fear of that you cannot make it all better again, you can't fix it, full of anxiety and despair.
Then, when you hit the rock bottom, you take yourself from the neck of your collar, and decide, for real this time, and keep the diet, and don't even look at the scales or mirror for half a year, not before someone tells you how much weight you have lost, how good you look, when you notice you have to buy new clothes, because your trousers keep falling off you... and you climb to the scales, heart shivering of fear, and see that you have reached the goal, you have lost the weight, and you didn't even think of it. The diet has become a lifestyle. You have a skinny lifestyle, not fat one, so you are skinny, active, healthy and happy. You won.
So we put in the closing picture, which shows happy, smiling and beautiful you walking down the same street the miserable, sad and fat you was walking in the opening picture.

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