Friday, May 18, 2012

Pictures and a Giveaway!

Let's all say this out loud: Kasie is an awful blogger. Good, now that we've gotten that off our chests, I must get to the conference post I promised.

I loved conference. I got to hang out with these people:

(from left to right: Jenn Johansson, Sara Larson, Renee Collins, me)

And these people:

(from left to right: very awesome people)

And this person:

(My amazing agent, Michelle Wolfson)

Also more of my favorite people who I didn't pose for pictures with.

No, I did not wear the same shirt all weekend, why do you ask?

Also! I got to go to some amazing classes. I will talk about one of those classes today. It was taught by Elana Johnson (whom I adore), author of POSSESSION and SURRENDER (coming soon). She based the class on the book by Blake Snyder called SAVE THE CAT. It's actually a screenwriting book, but it works perfectly for novel writing as well. Now, I'll be the first to admit that I'm not an author who reads books on learning the craft. I read loads of books, have my whole life, and feel that's where I've learned the craft (a lifetime of reading it). But, BUT! this class was amazing. It was basically a loose outlining process for those of us who hate outlining. Elana talked about dividing your novel into three acts, and each act needs to contain certain elements.

I will now proceed to do a crappy job summarizing. If you want details, I suggest you buy the book. Act 1 is your opening act. It covers about the first 75 pages of your novel and includes your theme, set-up, inciting incident, and a debate (your MC debating whether or not they want/need/can leave the world as they know it and go into the "new"). Act 1 is basically the world as you MC knows and has lived up until this point.

Act 2 starts the new world. (This doesn't only apply to fantasy/paranormal) A new world, meaning different from the one your MC has lived. The MC should always go into this new world of their own accord. They should never be forced. That doesn't mean they can't drag their feet or think it's a bad idea, but they must make the choice on their own. In Act 2 a lot of stuff happens (note me keeping my promise of a crappy summary.)

Act 3 is the blending of the two worlds. New hero, new person. It's the finale. Your MC gathers his/her team, executes plan, fails at plan, digs deep, executes new plan.

Anyway, this was a 2 hour class so that should tell you just how craptastic this summary was. But, really, you should get the book. Very helpful. Elana pointed out that even if you don't outline, once you've finished your first draft you can make sure you have all the key elements. You might discover you're missing a "beat" and need to add it. Great class.

And because I love Elana so much and appreciated her class and the work she put into it, I am giving away a copy of her book POSSESSION (which I also love). If you want to be entered to win, just leave a comment. I'll announce the winner next Friday.


  1. I just bought save the cat. I'm hoping it's as awesome as everyone else says. I'd love to win Possession if I didn't already have it. Have a great weekend.

  2. I already have Possession, but I will add my opinion to the general consensus of the fact that Elana is AWESOME! And yes, I know that last sentence was awkward. What of it?

  3. I have been meaning to get SAVE THE CAT for at least a year. I should probably get on that, huh?

    Also, I ADORE conferences with a deep passion. I have one coming up in a few weeks and I CANNOT WAIT!

  4. Thanks for doing this giveaway! :) If I win, my email is grigory99 at yahoo dot com

    *crosses fingers* ;)

  5. Not here to win...I just actually won POSSESSION from Jenn (LOL!). Good luck to all the winners and Kasie it sounded like it was a blast. I just graduated from college so I'm celebrating over here. ;-) enjoy the warm weather!

  6. It was so good to see you! And you did awesome in your query class. :)

  7. I would love to win, but then I would love for someone else to win....I am fractured and I want to win thus making it impossible for someone else to win? Can I be that selfish? Oh well, if I win I will read it gladly and then donate it to a worthy cause....

  8. I suppose since I will now have to purchase this book one way or another I should attempt to win this copy. How did I not know about this book??? I'm slacking!

  9. That sounds like a pretty amazing book/class - I'm in the middle of planning/outlining/brainstorming and idea, and I think I'm going to have to look that up for guidance! Thanks for sharing, and I'm glad you had a great time!

    (and if I'm not too late for the giveaway, I'd love to be entered - I've heard great things about the novel, just haven't had the chance to read it yet!)

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