SAVE THE CAT!® by Blake Snyder is a popular screenwriting book series and storytelling methodology used by screenwriters, directors, and studio execs across Hollywood. Now, for the first time ever, bestselling author and writing teacher, Jessica Brody, takes the beloved Save the Cat! plotting principals and applies them to the craft of novel writing in this exciting new “workshop style” guide, featuring over 20 full beat sheets from popular novels throughout time.
Whether you’re writing your first novel or your seventeenth, Save the Cat! breaks down plot in an easy-to-follow, step-by-step method so you can write stories that resonate! This book can help you with any of the following:
Outlining a new novel
Revising an existing novel
Breaking out of the dreaded “writer’s block”
Fixing a “broken” novel
Reviewing a completed novel
Fleshing out/test driving a new idea to see if it “has legs”
Implementing feedback from agents and/or editors
Helping give constructive feedback to other writers
But above all else, SAVE THE CAT! WRITES A NOVEL will help you better understand the fundamentals and mechanics of plot, character transformation, and what makes a story work!
I think this may be my new favorite craft book ever.
As a fan and writer of character-driven fiction, I’ve always struggled to figure out plot structure. I’ve read a lot of books that talk about that and have learned bits from all of them, but this book explained structure in a way that I really understood. It could be that I’m just finally starting to understand structure after all of these years (and multiple craft books), but I really think the format of this book is what I connected with.
First, the author lists out and explains the different beats of every good story. Then she explains the nine different plot types. Finally, she takes the list of beats and applies it to each of the plot types to help the reader see what it looks like. (She also includes a list of the books that use the various plot types.)
If you want to learn how to write a novel and you learn best from lists and examples, I highly recommend this book. I will reference it often.
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