Flawed hero
Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 09:14PM
Nikko Lee in Safe Word, Save the Cat! Write the Novel, Writing

I've started reading Save the Cat! Write a Novel in the hopes that it will help to break down the basic elements of story writing. This book uses the script writing advice of Save the Cat! beatsheet for script writing but twists it to explain story structure in novels.

Movie reviews have become my gold mine for analyzing character, plot, story structure and pacing. There really is a lot of overlap in how stories unfold regardless of the medium.

So I'm going to try the exercises with Safe Word as my basis.

Chapter 1: Why do we care?

Jacon Rilley is the main character of Safe Word. His big flaw is that he feels he must control everyone around him if he's going to be certain of meeting their needs and garnering the love and approval desperately wants. Because of this flaw he's chosen to avoid standard relationships, instead seeking sexual and emotional fulfillment by being the dominant to his chosen submissive.

The root of Jacob's obsessive need for control and approval stems from growing up in a sexually repressive house with a controlling father who died when Jacob was a preteen leaving him to care for his mother whose health deteriorates. His need to please her and be the head of the household requires him to put his own interests aside for his mother's needs.

At the start of the novel, Jacob is looking for a new submissive after recently ending his relationship with his previous submissive. His goal is to find the perfect submissive to whom he can devote all of his attention and affection toward. He turns to an online forum he has used before to screen and interview potential submissives.

Jacob can never find the submissive to meet his needs because he never lets himself give up control of their interactions. The moment one of his submissive challenges him or lets him down, he ends the relationship rather than addressing the problem.

What Jacob really needs is to relinquish his unrealistic idea of control and accept that disagreements and disappointment are a part of building relationships and becoming a person capable of loving and being loved.

Article originally appeared on Nikko Lee (http://www.nikkolee.com/).
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