It’s crunch time.  My deadline for The Desire of a Duke is Friday, and I’m on track to make it–which feels great.

Last week,  a few friends joined me in twitter-based rehash of my “Save the Kitties” writeathon from last year to motivate me to push through to the end of the draft.  The idea is to challenge yourself to write a certain amount over the course of a few days – if you meet the goal, you get to donate $ to a good cause (like Kitten Rescue, for me).  If you fail, you have to donate that money to a cause with which you, ahem, strenuously disagree (not telling which).  Add in public accountability, and I find this method extremely motivating for short bursts.  I’m proud to say I powered through to finish my manuscript in the wee, wee hours last Wednesday.   Now the book’s been out for some reads with CPs and friends, and the feedback coming back is frighteningly unanimous in pointing out the book’s major issue, so I have a very clear direction for revisions.  All of that is good.  🙂

So once I turn in my book on Friday (and I will!  I will!), I get to reward myself with a weekend CP retreat!  My main goal for the weekend will be to read, relax, and start plotting my next book, tentatively titled The Passion of a Warrior.  (Doesn’t quite have the same ring, does it?  Again, I’m open to suggestions.)

A few weeks ago, my local RWA chapter invited screenwriter Blake Snyder to speak.  He’s a very amusing guy, and his book, amusingly named Save the Cat! The Last Book You’l Ever Need on Screenwriting, contains a plotting structure based on the 15 “beats” of every good screenplay.  I’ve heard it compared to The Hero’s Journey, but I personally found the “beats” a bit simpler to grasp and more intuitive.  Alyson Noel, our chapter’s newest NYT Bestseller, swears by Blake’s method.

I am not usually one for plotting schemes (allergic to squares, remember?), but linear story progressions resonate with me.  Plus, you know I’m all about the saving of kitties.  🙂 I bought Blake’s book, and I’m going to take it with me on my retreat to share with my CPs and see if it can’t help me as I do my rough plotting of the next book.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Do you use Save the Cat!, “The Hero’s Journey”, or any similar method for plotting?  Do you have title ideas that are better than The Passion of a Warrior?  Ones with alliteration?  The third book is supposed to be The Secrets of a Scoundrel, and it’s killing me that the middle one has no alliteration.

5 comments to “Saving Kitties and Full Grown Cats”

  1. Lindsey
    · April 28th, 2009 at 8:51 am · Link

    Obviously you should go with the highly alliterative romance standard The Wicked Ways of the Warrior. 😉

  2. Janga
    · April 28th, 2009 at 9:49 am · Link

    Ways, wiles, wanderings, welcome, walk, wisdom, words?

    I kind of like The Wyrd of a Warrior. LOL!

    Then there some -ness words like wickedness, wildness, waywardness.

    Or maybe you should forget the alliteration. 🙂

    Have a fun retreat!

  3. Maggie Robinson
    · April 29th, 2009 at 2:24 am · Link

    The Will of a Warrior? And major, major squees for the Smart Bitch review of Werestag!!!

    Silly girl. I cannot plot to save my life.

  4. Tessa
    · April 29th, 2009 at 5:58 am · Link

    @Lindsey: @Maggie Robinson: Ooh, liking the title ideas! Thank you! You know, I am not married to “Warrior,” either. But neither can I think of a better noun. Hm.

    Maggie, whatever you do seems to be working for you! And thank you – that review was an amazing surprise to wake up to!

  5. Kim
    · May 1st, 2009 at 5:05 pm · Link

    Yay you on the awesome review!!

    hmm, what about Rake? The Reform of a Rake. The Resolve of a Rake.

    Or soldier? The Seduction of a Soldier