Posts Tagged ‘Blake Snyder’

Blake Snyder 1957-2009

Blake Snyder’s website has announced the Blake passed away this morning  Tuesday August 4th from cardiac arrest pulimary embolism.

I can’t really even begin to process this news. I just stopped by his blog literally after writing the previous post to insert the link… I am stunned.

I had the good fortune to take his 2 day workshop this last March. I learned SO much, from both Blake and my fellow students. One of the most prominent things I took from the experience was that writing isn’t rocket science, but you do have to LOVE what you’re doing or it won’t quite work. Watching Blake for those two days, I can tell you truly no one loved their job more than he did. It was, and still is, inspiring to me.

My heart goes out to his family and friends. If I am feeling the loss of him after only being a fan of his books and spending sixteen hours with him, I can only imagine what they are going through.

Blake will be sorely missed.

ETA: I’m sorry, it was just pointed out to me that Blake passed on August 4th, not today.


WIP: and we’re walking…

Friday morning. I got a good amount of work done last night. I didn’t actually *finish* the bones draft – yeah, yeah. However I took the Blake Snyder Beat Sheet which is 15 main beats and filled in all the blanks.

Blake’s contention is that in a 110 page script there are 15 beats/events that have to happen in a certain order and in certain places in order for the story to flow smoothly and for the movie-goer to get the payoff at the end. I love this type of stuff. I’m a paper pusher by trade and I generate spreadsheets and bullet-pointed lists like no one’s business, so this model is practically tailor made for me.

Once you get the 15 major beats in place, you fill in the other 25 or so scenes (Blake’s working on a 40 scene structure). Now my WIP is destined for a 15k word count, so I didn’t use all 40 spaces for scenes – no room. But I have a complete roadmap as of last night; filled in the last of the details.

It’s pretty exhilarating.

Now all I have to do is make the time to write this thing. Harder than it sounds, but I’m pretty motivated right now. I’ll let ya’ll know how it goes.

wip: new directions

savethecatThis past weekend was my Save the Cat! workshop with Blake Snyder.

Wow. Totally worth the price of admission.

I’ve attended more than my fair share of writer’s workshops and I have to say this format (and this particular group) is light-years ahead of anything else out there.

Blake began by having everyone do the standard “Hi, my name is Bob…” routine and I was immediately worried because an alarming number of people were already solidly in the industry with scripts sold and/or in consideration. Pretty daunting company for me, a movie lover taking a stab at writing a screenplay on little more than a whim.

Anyhoo. Around the table we went and pitched out the old “I have a story about a guy who…” Wow. Everything from a legal thriller to a SciFi Channel Saturday matinee. Really fun ideas that morphed by Sunday night into fully fleshed concepts. And our little idea got an excellent reception, too.


But, the biggest feedback we got was that our location was ALL wrong. Location, location, location. So it took a little convincing and a lot of work to make sure that coincidence wasn’t running rampant in our ‘burb, but JB is now with me and we’re full steam ahead. And even in these early stages, it’s already an hundred times better. I swear if I didn’t have a day job (which I’m running late for right now…) I think we’d have this screenplay drafted by week’s end.

Ah well. Life and all that junk.

So it won’t be this week, but very soon I hope to be able to say in earnest, “Coming soon to a theatre near you.”

friday musings

It’s March and in Southern California that means it’s beach weather again. As such I decided to update the old avatar:

avatar-tealWhen I dig through my closet I find that I have a disproportionately large amount of teal colored items, so this particular outfit naturally caught my eye. I love the little sandals – I’m going to need to hunt some of my very own.

I love Yahoo! Avatars. They’re basically electronic paper dolls – one of my most favorite pastimes as a kid.

Oh, and I just registered First Daughter for kindergarten. I’m having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that she’s old enough to be in “real” school now. Freaky.

Ok. Onto actual stuff stuff.

Am making good progress with the screenplay. I’ve a little more than the first third blocked in and I feel confident I’ll be able to block in the rest before next weekend. (Fingers crossed!) My writing partner is on a family roadtrip until next Tuesday (curses!) but thankfully has access to email so I’m not totally alone out here. Whew.

Anyhoo, the writing has been really fun so far. This is the most fun I’ve had writing to date, so I’m tempted to believe the material has a great deal to do with it. What is it I’m penning, you ask? A screenplay that I think falls into the “Dude With a Problem” genre. WTH genre is that, you ask? Find out here.

But what’s it about, you demand? Well think Charlie’s Angels meets The Incredibles. Here’s the working logline:

Fifteen years ago they were their nation’s deadliest weapon; today they have carpool.  A soccer mom, a college professor and a small-time newscaster are called out of retirement to help their former boss recover a team of rogue covert agents he misplaced. 

In theory it will be an action/comedy, a la Die Hard. Hopefully that will be the actual result.

Time to get back to it. Cuz that workshop I keep yapping about? Taught by the guy who wrote the book. Yep. Oi.

holy crap

Bless me readers for I have sinned; it’s been over a month since my last confession…


Sooo much going on right now. I got caught up in the election hulabaloo (who didn’t?).  I just checked and I apparently haven’t touched Tucker since October 24. So much for making my self imposed RWA GH deadline. Ah well. I can only do so much.

The hubbin is traveling like a mad fiend right now, so I am playing single mom every other week and working full time and going to night classes learning to be a tax preparer (boo ya!) and furiously jotting notes on the next WIP (Sydney) and – whew! I’m a little overwhelmed right now.

Oh, and I’ve decided to write a screenplay as well. SOOPER excited about this, kids! It’s gonna be great!


This is my new obsession and the reason I think I have any business writing a screenplay. I picked it up a few months back because I couldn’t resist the title and premise and I figured it couldn’t hurt to get plotting tips from a related but different industry.

I finally got around to reading it about a week ago and I’m so tickled that I began plotting my first screenplay last night. I took an idea I had for a book and I’m converting it. I think it’s going to be great.

Time, that nasty bitch, will tell.

Also, I’m only three degrees away from Mr. Snyder – one of his writing partner’s wife was my boss a few years back. Small freaking world. We’re practically related! (No, not really, but you gotta work every connection that pops up, right?)

More later when I have two minutes to rub together.