I know I’ve mentioned The Anatomy of Story by John Truby before, but I need to sing its praises one more time. Since I first read it a couple years ago, it’s become the one book on craft that I can’t live without. It’s helped me out of some serious plotting jams, and it worked its magic again yesterday when I found myself stuck on my current project (the third book in the Dirt Diary series).
When I first start figuring out a book, I usually sit down with Truby’s tome and use it to help guide me through the main conflicts and turning points in the story. But this time around, I realized that my story had evolved so much since I’d first started planning it that I had to go back and redo the list I’d already made.
As I was doing this, I realized why I was so stuck. The character’s goal didn’t evolve over the course of the story; she was just doing the same thing over and over again. Boring! Once I realized that, I thought about ways to escalate the conflict in order to force her to adjust her goals and take more interesting action.
I’m glad I’m finally back on track. Now…back to writing!
What craft book can you not live without?