Kristin Lenz’s thoughtful post on the YA fusion blog, reminded me of a section in the book, Save the Cat by Blake Snyder (Michael Wiese Productions, 2005). To test if his stories connect with the audience on a basic level, Snyder asks himself, “Is it primal?” or “Would a caveman understand?” He lists primal drives as survival, hunger, sex, protection of loved ones and fear of death.
I look back on my collection of manuscripts, I agree that they involve these
themes, but every novel I’ve written is mostly about loneliness. Perhaps these
manuscripts failed because loneliness is a nebulous concept. I’d like to
propose, however, that cave-people understood that community was essential for
both physical and emotional survival. Surviving high school or an attack by saber-tooth
cats may well depend on the supporting characters.