Sunday, June 24, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: Save the Cat by Blake Snyder

I bought this book based on the recommendation of a member of one the book writing groups I belong to. It tells how to write movie scripts, but the friend who told me about it said the same principles could be used to help make novels better. Since I was about halfway through my latest book, I decided to hold off on writing until I studied the techniques described in this book.

Snyder, a successful screenwriter who died in 2009, describes how every good movie script is organized. It is an easy-to-understand description of 15 beats along with a description of each beat and how many pages one should have for each beat. Examples are included to make the material even easier to understand.

I could see right away how to apply the techniques to novel writing. However, there are two follow-up books, Save the Cat Goes to the Movies and Save the Cat Strikes Back, that I think I better read before finishing the novel.


  1. Excellent book if you are into screen writing!

  2. I agree, Lorilyn. And many novelists are using it, too. There is an algorithm to change page numbers to match any length novel.

  3. I need to look at them. I'm always looking for ways to make my writing more systematic.

  4. Thanks for the comment, Lester. Let me know if I can answer any questions.