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Saturday
May092015

Save the Cat!

This is a fantastic book for anyone who writes creatively. I think it probably makes a good tool for editors, too. It's just great for anyone who wants more definition about story structure. The beat sheet is an astounding tool for outlining.

This book is specifically tailored to screenwriters, but most of the advice is transferable to books. It's got excellent, clear examples and is written in an entertaining voice. It's a quick read and a good read.

I don't think this is the last book you'll ever need as a writer (maybe as a screenwriter, as the subtitle suggests) because it doesn't really go into detail about how to write. It focuses more on big picture but it's outstanding as a guide for structure and what does and doesn't work in writing amazing stories.

I recently discovered that one of my favourite movies ever, How to Train Your Dragon, was written using this book and Snyder's teachings. As I really sat to think about the movie vs what I learned from the book, I could see exactly how the movie was crafted.

I found myself mentally stacking up some of my manuscripts against the beat sheet to see how they compare. I'm rather pleased that the first book of the Blueshift trilogy is laid out really closely to what the beat sheet suggests is the perfect story structure. I'm having difficulties with the first draft of Fireborn (the Dragon Whisperer sequel) and I plan to use this book extensively as I rework and expand the first draft.

It's actually made me want to try my hand at writing a script. Not any time soon, of course, but it's now in the back of my mind to perhaps learn a bit more about screenwriting and maybe adapt Dragon Whisperer into a script.

I also plan to use this book when mentoring authors about structure. I highly recommend it if you're a fiction writer or editor.

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