First of all, I need to thank the wonderful people at Blake Snyder Enterprises for sending me a copy of Save the Cat! STRIKES BACK, the third book in Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat series. It probably won’t come as a shock that I dropped everything so I could start reading it, and although I’m only halfway through, my brain is already exploding. There is also a large stain on my kitchen floor but let’s ignore that for now.
The first chapter of STRIKES BACK is about loglines, but I’m not going to tell you what Snyder says on this subject. He has an AWESOME formula for creating loglines, but you need to read Save the Cat if you want to use it easily. If you don’t, you can read my previous 47 posts on the subject. Har har har.
What I want to talk about today is a new beat Snyder introduces in this book. It falls between the Setup and the Catalyst and is what he calls Stasis = Death.
Stasis=Death is the moment before the inciting incident when the reader realizes that the main character cannot continue as is. He cannot live the life he is living in the manner he is living it. If he does, he will fade into a miserable existence and will die with seventeen cats and a bird named Tom. Note that I said the reader realizes this and not the main character. Although Snyder doesn’t make this point, I think it’s important. The main character is not supposed to know he is doomed in the setup. He can be miserable. Heck, he can be REALLY miserable. But until he enters the new situation, he cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. If he does, your inciting incident will come off less like a bus hitting him and more like a bus arriving as scheduled.
In my next post, I’ll talk about Snyder’s Transformation Machine. It will BLOW YOUR MIND. Or, if your mind is already blown, it will cause it to rock in a manner similar to one caused by a train passing at a gentle pace.