Book Review – Save the Cat

Why I read this book:  This was on a recommended list of books for aspiring authors.

Did I enjoy it:  Yes!  Easily one of the best books on the structure of stories I’ve ever read, and definitely ranks in the top books on writing I’ve read in the last year.

What I learned from this book:  The review below sums it up, but I’d say the biggest takeaways were some of the tips/tricks he expands on, such as “Save the Cat,” “The Pope in the Pool” “Double Mumbo Jumbo” and more.  Lots of great material here to use.

Save the Cat!: The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever NeedSave the Cat!: The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need by Blake Snyder

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The title tells you it’s the last book on screenwriting you’ll ever need. A bold claim, but it powerfully delivers on this promise. I read this book as recommended for authors and went into it somewhat skeptical because it is meant for screenwriters… The lessons contained therein are just as important for authors as screenwriters.

Snyder delivers several powerful tools and insights in this quick read. Several of the important items:
1) Make sure to have a logline (Premise) of your story, and understand what any good premise needs
2) Know how to build your heroes and build change into your heroes
3) Specific tips of things to include or avoid that
4) Specific things to look for when the story isn’t working
5) And my personal favorite: The Blake Snyder Beat Sheet.

Many people will try to tell you that writing can’t be reduced down to a formula, and to a degree that’s true. However, much like there are “no rules to poetry” there really are things that should be kept in mind. Whether you choose to discard those things or not, you at least want to think about them, and Snyder gives us a lot to think about.

Easily one of the best books on writing I’ve read this year, and one that should be on every author’s bookshelf.

View all my reviews

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