6 August 2009 - 16:17Blake Snyder - Rest in Peace

I was really shocked to hear that Blake Snyder died a couple of days ago of cardiac arrest.

If you don’t know who he is, he wrote a ground-breaking screenwriting book called “Save the Cat”.  That book is the most important writing book (not just screenwriting) that I ever read, because even though it gives you a lot of formulas for plot and how to write a logline and choosing a story structure, it transcends genre as no other screenwriting book ever has. (And I’m including “Story” here.)

What Snyder did was look at story with the kind of perspective you see in psychologists and anthropologists who study folk tale.  Genre, for him, is not about whether the first murder or first kiss appears on page 8, but rather on what kind of hero you have and what’s his journey about.  Genre isn’t just marketing category, and it sure isn’t formula - but it does provide insight into the audience for both the writer and the marketing department to understand.

I’m so sorry to hear he’s gone.

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