I just spent a weekend with a handful of screenwriters and Blake Snynder, one of Hollywood's most successful spec screenwriters. Not that I want to write a screen play. I needed help structuring Temper the Wind, a story that's been in my head for more than ten years and which won first place in this year's PNWA's literary contest. But which is, did I say? stuck in my head? Stuck like Pooh in Rabbit's Hole?
Blake started out burying the title--not "killer" enough.
Then he and the others pushed and pulled and tossed out the trans-fat of all my old ideas and dieted me instead on new ideas. Weird ideas.
We ended up with a completely different story. But, hey, I'm no longer stuck.
This is Blake Snyder.
BTW: If you're a story teller? Get the book. And his blog is to your right, should you want to learn more about his 15 beats.