Monday, November 23, 2009

Side effects of blogging: Memory Wipe

About ten minutes ago I had a mental list of all the things I needed to do before I went to bed tonight. Then as I stepped out of the shower I had a vision of my next blog post. And then at that very moment, EVERYTHING I was supposed to do was instantaneously wiped from my memory. Is this paranormal or what?

I subscribe to a newsletter called Screenplay Mastery. Granted I no longer have ambitions to write screenplays I still enjoy learning about them. Michael Haugue, the creator of Screenplay Mastery, has a post on screenplay structure that is excellent. A lot of screenplay structural theory can be applied to your favorite novel or even your own writing. Below is a diagram of what he believes are the basic six stages for a plot:

While this diagram can be a great tool. He warns:
"But a word of caution: don't let all these percentages block your creativity. Structure is an effective template for rewriting and strengthening the emotional impact of your story. But you don't want to be imprisoned by it. Come up with characters you love and a story that ignites your passion. Then apply these structural principles, to ensure that your screenplay will powerfully touch the widest possible audience."

I highly suggest checking out his post. Good luck to all the Nano Writers- just 7 days left with Thanksgiving stuck in the middle. Oh, what fun challenges can be!

Also, don't forget about Dorian and the add on story.


  1. That's a fascinating diagram, and it's almost creepy how my novel maps onto it. I hope that means it's good!

  2. This is very similar to Freytag's Pyramid. If you want to you can see the image of it here:

  3. One of these days I'm gonna have to follow one of these outlines/diagrams and see how things turn out.

  4. Thanks, Anita. That is helpful. Also, I dearly like his caveat: don't let it "block your creativity," and don't "be imprisoned by it."

    I like that he realizes that absolutes in the creative arts can be counterproductive.

  5. That girl who wrote JUNO said she did not plot she just wrote. That makes me things you have to follow your gut and write a brilliant story but I could be wrong I'm not published and I wrote three brilliant stories.
    You take care

  6. Great post… helpful advice. Although I outlined my novel from beginning to end, it has grown into something much different than I originally planned. Perhaps in my case, pre-plotting stifled the creative process.

  7. What a great tool! Thanks for sharing.