Save the Cat Writes A Novel (Book Review) – #authortoolboxbloghop

save the cat

Lately, most of my writing time has been dedicated to revising my Camp NaNoWriMo project, and I’m feeling good about the progress I’ve made. I’ve discovered several new things that have helped make the process easier for me. One is the chapter overview which I shared for May’s #authortoolboxbloghop. (If you missed that one, you can read about it here.)

Today, I wanted to share about another great resource – Save the Cat Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody.

Originally taken from Save the Cat, a book about screenwriting, this book takes the three act structure of a story and breaks it down even farther into 15 beats. It also tells about the ten types of stories and gives examples from best-selling novels like The Hunger Games and Harry Potter.

I love this book! It’s really helped me with my revisions. Using the fifteen beats, I’ve been able to see where things needed to be moved around so they fit better into my story. I’ve also been able to determine whether or not scenes are necessary. And I’ve been able to lay everything out to see how it’s working together.

One of Brody’s suggestions is to use index cards and a big cork board to set up the fifteen beats. I love this idea and while I haven’t got the board yet, I’ve started making the cards and can’t wait to see how it will all look once it is all put together. (I’ll be sure to share my results.)

I think any fiction writer would benefit from this book, and if you haven’t checked it out yet, you should. This is one of my favorite writing books and one I’ll be keeping close whenever I’m working on revisions. (If you’re a planner, you’d probably use this book before you write your novel.)

How about you? Have you read this book yet? What’s your favorite craft book? Let me know in the comments!

Nano Blog and Social Media Hop2

This post is part of the #authortoolboxbloghop hosted by Raimey Gallant. To check out all the participating blogs, or to join in the fun go here.


19 thoughts on “Save the Cat Writes A Novel (Book Review) – #authortoolboxbloghop”

  1. I have this book! It’s sitting on my desk waiting to be read. You’re not the first person to speak so highly about it. I suppose it’s time to pull it out and actually read it instead of letting it sit pretty on my desk. Thank you for the recommendation.

    Sarah from http://www.sarahkrewis.com

  2. I’m currently reading Save the Cat. I may take a look at this once it’s over.
    Another series I’m looking at are some books by H.R. D’Costa. One focuses on beginnings (inciting incident), another 2 on the middle, and 1 entirely on the climax. I’m curious to see a more in depth look at each, in contrast with many books I’ve read that try to cover the whole picture.
    Sometimes I’m tempted to put my own writing on hold and just study for a good long while, but I feel like it would be far too easy to simply continue learning, never practicing.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Those books sound interesting. I’ll have to check them out. I get the feeling of wanting to study for awhile, and I agree that it would be too easy to keep studying and never actually write your own stuff. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

      1. Yeah. That’s another form of budgeting (I feel). I try to set myself monthly goals, like read one book on writing each month, while also spending some time on diverse other writing tasks, with the caveat that some types of deadlines don’t see completion by the end of July, then those are the only ones that migrate on to August (or maybe reduce met goals, like reading books on writing, by half, to make room for a shift in priorities).

  3. I’m tempted to read this book now, but I think I should read the original Save the Cat book first. Maybe? I don’t know. Either way, thank you for the overview!

    1. I don’t think it matters unless you’re writing screenplays too. I know the first one was geared towards writing screenplays. I haven’t read that one yet. Glad you enjoyed the post. 🙂

  4. I’ve definitely used this before! There are even downloadable spreadsheets you can find online where you plug in your word count or page count, and it’ll tell you roughly where certain plot points should be. It was super helpful during revisions because I could figure out where my pacing went wrong. https://bit.ly/30nJRbv

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