Review: Save the Cat! Writes a Novel


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!

Review: If you’re a writer, you need this book. I’ve read a lot of books on the craft of writing over the years, but this one really connected for me. I’m not even finished with it and I’m recommending it. Most of us have heard of “Save the Cat!” by Blake Snyder. That book is focused on screenwriting. This one is specifically about writing novels. As you can see from the blurb above, this will help you focus your writing so you know where you’re going. No, it’s not about plotting out the entire novel. It’s about figuring out who your characters are, what they want, why they want it, and how they get (or don’t get) there. The author writes in a clear, easy-to-understand way. There are multiple examples of what she calls “beats” or better known as plot points taken from real books that some of us have actually read. And no, that doesn’t mean your books will be formulaic. This is just a starting point to get you from beginning to end without (hopefully) getting bogged down in the middle.

Recommendation: Definitely!