Aug 29, 2012

GUTGAA & My Beat Board

Have you heart of GUTGAA?  It is the coolest thing and I'm super excited.  If you haven't heard of it yet, if you aren't signed up yet, what are you waiting for?  This is a link to the schedule (I might have sworn out loud because of the awesomeness...maybe) but seriously, this is an incredible opportunity for feedback, professional growth and it's just all around exciting.

In June, I was struggling between being a pantser and a plotter and couldn't figure out how to make my writing life work.  After sharing my conundrum on my blog, I got this comment.
Blogger Elana Johnson said...
Have you read Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder? YOU SHOULD. It's the in-between method you're looking for. Trust me on this.
June 21, 2012 4:52 PM
 Delete
If you don't know Elana, you need to because she shares infinite amounts of wisdom and is one of the big reasons I have a blog so if you like me, you need to know her :)  In many cases, what Elana says is law (she's a Swedish fish kind of person, I prefer cinnamon bears, but we can still be friends).  So I read Save the Cat!.  It had such an impact on me that I revamped the creative writing class I teach to incorporate more of these ideas and set out to make my own beat board.   Mine isn't all decorated cute like Ali Cross but it is color coded by character arc because that is how my brain works.


It was through creating this board that I realized something that may have taken me a long time to realize otherwise.  See how there are only three bright yellow pieces.  That was all I had for that character.  He wasn't serving a purpose.  I explained this more on my group blog yesterday.

No, it's not all the way complete, but I'm seeing why I was struggling with some scenes and characters.  And I now know what I need to do to get this story where I want it to be and start gearing up for a new story that has been hanging out in my head for a few months now - I'm planning on launching into that one for NaNoWriMo (it's two months away people!).

Are you signed up for GUTGAA?  Have you read Save the Cat!?  






13 comments :

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I love Save the Cat. I can't survive plotting without it. :)

I just signed up for GUTGAA this morning.

Angela Cothran said...

I agree--Save the Cat is magic! I use it all the time, but I've never done a beat board. I'm visual so that might really help me.

Cassie Mae said...

Way stoked for GUTGAA!!!! It's going to be a ton of fun!

Emily R. King said...

I blogged about this book today, too.

I'm envious of your organization! And it's color coordinated, too!

David P. King said...

Save the Cat = saves your writing.

I'm still recovering from WriteOnCon, but thanks for this info. Is there a list of agents participating? If there's enough that haven't already rejected me then it might be worth a shot. :)

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

I own Save The Cat but have yet to read it properly and put it to use. I LOVE that board and the vision it represents, but I don't know if I'll be able to do it - I'm SO BAD at plotting!

Joshua said...

I'm not ready for GUTGAA. But I thought the first rule was not talking about GUTGAA. Or am I thinking of something else?

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Save the Cat is an awesome writing book! The beat sheet is what helps me the most.

Brinda said...

How is it possible that I haven't heard of this writing book? *leaving now to look on Amazon*

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I've heard of Save the Cat, but I wasn't exactly sure what it was about. I'm going to check it out.

Lisa Regan said...

I must get that book now! Thanks!

Diana said...

Thanks so much about posting about GUTGAA! I've never heard of it, but I am now signed up and super excited for it.

Tamara said...

Love Save the Cat! Have a beat board, but I love that you use corkboard. Mine is sticky notes, so I might re-think that on my next one. Great blog. This is my first year trying GUTGAA - so nice to meet you here.