How a Blog Saved My Book

We're highlighting blogs we follow this week. I'm going to talk about a blog I've mentioned before, because there is just so much good information for writers there, that it's worth checking out again and again.  Plus, this blog gave me a crash course in plotting just when I needed it the most.

Author Alexandra Sokoloff has a wonderful blog called Screenwriting Tricks for Authors.  Scroll down the right side and you'll see a list of blog posts for writers.  Read those.  Now.  Seriously, I'll wait.

Okay, if you've read those you are probably itching to go plot your next book.  Or maybe you had an epiphany about your current work in progress.  I'm willing to bet that you came away with a better understanding of story structure and plot than you had when you popped in.

And when you're ready to put these things into practice there are work books- Screenwriting Tricks for Authors I and Writing Love:Screenwriting Tricks for Authors II.

I found this goldmine when I needed it most.  After one round of revision on Spies and Prejudice, I was sent back to the drawing board.  Yes, that means exactly what you think.  I needed to reimagine the plot and write most of the book again from scratch.  And I was terrified.

I embarked on a crash course in plotting and story structure, and the Dark Salon was exactly what I needed at exactly the right time.  I not only learned about how a story fit together from a theoretical standpoint, but I was given tools that I could use to put the lessons into practice right away.

In a weekend, I had completely replotted the main story arc of my book using the index card method (also a favorite of Katherine's). While writing, I incorporated plants and payoffs.   And she even had a checklist. (I know!!!).

This blog helped me put together a story that I could build from.  It got me excited about my book again.  It helped me find my way when I was lost in the trees of self-doubt.  It literally saved my book.


Talia, I'm always so happy to hear that the blog and the book are this helpful to people. I'm so grateful to my own writing teachers over the years that it makes me feel a part of something right, to pass on a little bit of what I've learned.

One correction, if you don't mind - my blog and the workbooks based on it are called Screenwriting Tricks for Authors:

Thank you!

Thanks for stopping by Alexandra! I've made the changes (and ordered the workbook). And thank you for helping through a really rough patch!

Thanks so much, Talia! And OH, do I know those rough patches. If I hadn't had my go-to teachers: the notes I took in the late Frank Daniels' film classes, John Truby's excellent Anatomy of Story - I know I would never be a published writer today. Now I have my own workbooks to follow along with and it might sound a little like Multiple Personality Disorder but I NEED to go back follow the workbook steps myself at various points in my process! Writing is HARD. We need our roadmaps!

So glad you wrote about Alexandra Sokoloff again---just what I need right now. Wonderful to read the above comments as well. Thank you.

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