Bier de Stone ( wrote,
Bier de Stone

  • Mood:

The nitty gritty of PowerStructure and "Save the cat"

I don't know how long I've procrastinated buying the book Save the cat because I had gotten a copy from the library and skimmed through that one. Well, I met a fellow screenwriter who advised me to get myself a copy of it, read it, study it, and possibly light a candle for it. So I asked him if he had any tips on color-coding uses of highlighters and he showed me how he uses blue to highlite names and titles, yellow for all purposes highliting, pink is for only the most important stuff, etc. So I couldn't find my blue highlighter and I started to come up with my own system.

Because screenwriting has a basic rules for writing that doesn't stray too far from screenplays and theatrical plays and TV scripts, a lot of the terminology is the same. For instance, I bought myself a software program called PowerStructure to help me put my screenplay together. The manual which explains the basics for using PowerStructure doesn't go into the writing theory aspect of Character Roles and/or Story Stage. The software itself comes with pre-programmed descriptions for these categories and they are: [Shapeshifter, Trickster, Threshold Guardian, Shadow, Mentor, Hero, and Sleeping Giant]. I'm sure people who've taken a class or two on writing might be familiar with these terms, but I'm not. Fortunately, Powerstructure allows me to add and delete Character Roles (and Story Stages) as I see fit. So, because I really like Save the Cat, I'm going to apply Blake Snyder's Beat Sheet to the Story Stage descriptions. I'll be replacing the defaults [return to elixir, Resurrection, Road back, Reward, Ordeal, Approach to the inmost cave, Test, allies & enemies, Crossing the threshold, Meeting with the mentor, Refusal of call, Call to adventure, Ordinary world, and The lab rat (that last one seems liek something I might've added)] with [Opening image, Theme stated, Set-up, Catalyst, Debate, Break into two, B story, Fun and games, Midpoint, Bad guys close in, All is lost, Dark night of the soul, Break into three, Finale, Final image].

And, if you've been reading the screenplay scenes I've been scanning into my blog, you might've noticed that I type a title for the scene, right next to the page number. I'm going to try to utilize these titles as Character Role descriptions.

Tags: books, writing

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened