How Batman Saved My Book – And He Can Save Yours Too!

I have been in the midst of stressing over rewriting and restructuring my book. It’s become an obsession, especially regarding the plot structure. Which is how Batman comes into the picture.

You see, I took a bit of a break and watched the Christopher Nolan Batman Trilogy. And by the time I got through Dark Knight Rises (my favorite), things finally started to click as I analyzed the movie and plot structure while watching (I’ll try not to offer spoilers if you haven’t seen it.)

Part 1 – The Set-up – The world is revealed where we learn 8 years have passed since the actions of the last movie, in which time Bruce Wayne / Batman has become a recluse. Meanwhile, we meet Bane (the villain) and see him doing horrible things we don’t fully understand yet. Then there’s Selina Kyle / Catwoman. The actions of Commissioner Gordon and his regret about the lies he’s had to keep. And of course, Officer Blake, a young Gotham officer with a clear sense of moral justice – and sometimes in conflict with the situation.

What’s fascinating is watching all the characters going about their own path (their Ordinary World), while it was clear they were all heading on an intercept course without knowing it. Until bang! You hit the First Plot Point and Gotham is under direct threat.

Part 2 – The Response – The characters – including and especially the protagonist Batman – try to react to Bane’s threat, but they try to do it the way they always have. Batman has been out of commission for too long, and he’s not a young man anymore. Which leads to the Midpoint, when he loses those most important to him, is defeated, almost killed, and betrayed.

Part 3 – The Attack – Imprisoned, Batman must watch while Gotham suffers under Bane, Bruce Wayne’s greatest fear. The citizens of Gotham – and the other characters left behind – fight to survive and act without their biggest asset: Batman. Only when Batman is able to solve the secret to escaping the prison – and his own weakness – can he head back to save the day.

Part 4 – Batman arrives back, just in time before the city is destroyed. With his new power and understanding, he brings together all of the disparate forces so they can respond with strength and win the day. In the end, he finds a way to achieve what has become his ultimate goal: a way to no longer be Batman.

So, how did this save my book? Because by analyzing it, I was able to see how it worked – and worked well – and then apply the same logic to my plot. So indeed, by doing the same, Batman can save you too (or another well-plotted book / movie of your choice if Batman isn’t your thing).

Next week I’ll discuss the 4 stage plot structure in more detail.

But before I go: Has watching a movie or reading a non-craft book ever helped your writing? What has helped you learn and understand the elements of writing?

Thanks for reading, and hope you have a fantastic writing week. Oh, and hey: like the post? Why not follow the blog? 🙂 Have a good one.