I was lucky enough to attend an all day workshop based on this book with Mr Maass in
Some things among the trillion notes I took away were:
SCENE: add heroic quality in first five pages
· Make the reader care
· Reader must want heroine to succeed
· Readers must cheer for her and have a sympathetic bond
SCENE: Have her act against her defining characteristic.
· Creates internal conflict
· Opening extra character dimensions/other sides/layers
· Room for growth
SCENE: Find 3 moments where the heroine realise she wants the exact opposite of her main goal.
· Desire for opposing goals creates inner conflict – this last moment ends up getting faster speedier, zooming to the end...
· How can you make a character that readers will talk about, think about, worry about even when the book is closed?
· Don’t be half-hearted! Go all the way so readers can’t see what is going to happen.
Based on creating the ever popular three act structure for movie scripts, this book still holds many valuable hints for novelists. Or so I’m told. I’ve tried. I really have. But I just find it all so cumbersome. It’s like the guy wrote his how to book then changed every second word to a much bigger one with the use of a thesaurus.
Anyhoo, I know lots of authors who loooove this book and live by the three act layout which goes something like this:
Climax - twist
Climax – Black moment
Scene - Resolution
I am a more organic writer, and though I think I accidentally work like this a lot of the time, its more through osmosis of being a fanatical movie watcher than from any concerted effort to do so.
I bought this book for my Dad one Xmas. He loves Stephen King, I love writing, I thought it might be a way to bridge the two. And he raved about this book so much I had to buy a copy for myself. This is a wonderful whimsical book about one man’s way of doing things. He does not hope to teach others to do the same, he merely holds up a camera on the processes he has found work for him over the years.
I learnt about closing the office door from this man which was a lifesaver many times over! Mr King also claims most other books on writing are filled with bulls#$t. Excepting ‘THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE’ by Strunk and White. I own that one too. Great fo those pesky punctuation queries that crop up now and then.
Best quote about why he writes: ‘I have the heart of a small boy. I keep it on the desk in my office.’
If you’ve ever thought about writing a book in a month, this is the guy who can motivate you to do it. Whether by encouraging you to tell everybody you’ve ever met that you plan to write a book in thirty days so that they will shame you into finishing the job, or encouraging you to wear a Viking helmet while writing in order to connect with your inner muse, this guy, for me, has all the answers.
Others in my pile on my desk?
HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU
SELF-EDITING FOR FICTION WRITERS
THE ART OF ROMANCE WRITING
CREATING UNFORGETTABLE CHARACTERS
HOW TO WRITE DAMN GOOD FICTION
THE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
I haven’t read them all, some don’t even have spine creases. I think the thing is to find what works for you – whether it’s new ideas or finding solace in the fact that others out there write the same way you do.
Ally's latest release,HOW TO MARRY A BILLIONAIRE is available as a Silhouette Romance in North America this month!
For more , check out Ally's website.
Any other books you guys have found helpful, let us know!