Friday 1 March 2013

Non Fiction Friday - Save The Cat! by Blake Snyder

Save the Cat!: The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need
Pages - 195
Published by Michael Wiese Productions in 2005
Book - Borrowed
This ultimate insider's guide reveals the secrets that none dare admit, told by a show biz veteran who's proven that you can sell your script if you can save the cat!
I have lost count how many times this book has been recommended to me over the past couple of years and I always dismissed it. It was a screen writing book for God’s sake. Why on earth would it be of any use to me when I am writing a book?
Well, I will no longer scoff at this very thought because this book is awesome and totally relevant to writing fiction! This book saved my plot! I had reached a stage in my MS, where I had lost sight of what was actually happening. I was writing scenes but I couldn’t see where they would fit in the grand scheme of the story. By reading this book, I could easily see the bigger picture. I was able to put all my chapters into an order and look at the plot as a whole.
The style of writing is conversational and you feel like you are sitting in a room with the writer, drinking coffee and discussing your next steps in a casual manner. I warmed to the author straight away and felt confident that he knew what he was talking about. You trust his judgement.
I loved the beat sheet. I thought it was tremendous and I quickly made my own copies to use alongside my plot.  I also found myself looking at books I had read recently with a clearer and more critical eye than perhaps I would usually have done. I could easily pinpoint problems in them that previously I wouldn’t have noticed. In future, I will actually use the beat sheets to examine the plot in other books which I hope will help me get mine just right in the future.
There are parts of the book that are irrelevant to writing fiction, but they are easily identifiable and I was able to skip right past them.
 I thought this was one of the most useful and most accurate writing books I have come across in ages. So I would definitely advise reading it to help save your plot from the death spiral!


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