Okay, guys, time for the big question: How on Earth should I organize this damn thing? In the pitch I sold, I proposed organizing it by example. Start out with some fun personal stuff like the last book, then have three longs chapters about Believe, Care and Invest (Possibly now to become Connect, Care, Commit?), then have 50 3-page chapters about 10 books, 10 movies, 10 TV pilots, maybe 10 non-fiction books, maybe 10 comics, something like that.
But now I’m doubting that. Obviously I’ve just done 20 movies here so far on the blog (more in raw data form than the actual essays I’d write for the book) That’s more examples than I’d off in the book, but right away it started feeling a little monotonous to me. If I just frog march my readers through 50 examples, pointing out similar things about each one, it could be hard to read the whole thing.
So I’m freaking out. So here are some other ideas:
I could organize it around pieces of advice, such as using humiliation, then give a lot of examples of that. The problem is that that’s the way I organized my last book, and it might seem too similar.
So here’s a new idea: Organize it around reasons that characters will be hard to identify with. Jerk heroes we love. Passive heroes we love. Petulant heroes we love. Then look at a bunch of examples of each and how they’ve overcome this baked-in liability. As we’ve seen, every great hero breaks some rule of identification, as well they should. You don’t want to have a mathematically-perfect Likeable Character. Something specific about this particular character is going to create a speed bump to likeability, and then you use your powers to get your audience over that speed bump.
I’d had an idea for another book called “The Exceptions: How to Break Every Writing Rule”. What if I kind of combined the ideas?
I dunno. Any other ideas? Organize my book and I’ll thank you in the acknowledgments!