Okay, so I have to say that this blog post is loooooong overdue! I read Blake Snyder's Save the Cat! (book #1) last year and I can't believe I hadn't heard about it years ago.
SAVE THE CAT! is one of my top picks for recommended books for writers. I have to give a huge shout out to Alyson Noël. Thank you Alyson for introducing me to Save the Cat!
THANK YOU, THANK YOU! Seriously I can't thank you enough!! It's no wonder you dedicated one of your books to Blake. He truly is amazing.
I cannot emphasis how fabulous Save the Cat! is. I don't want to sound like an annoying parakeet but it's really THAT good. So what makes it so dang good?
Good question. What make a book a great read?
Let's see, there's the hook—the pacing—characters you can relate to—originality—and most importantly a voice you can't turn away from.
I think what makes Save the Cat! so fabulous is that Blake has a likable voice and when reading it, it doesn't feel like you're studying. You're actually absorbing and understanding what Blake has to say.
In his final interview (it saddens me deeply that he is no longer here) he talks about how and why structure is important. He points out that you are misleading yourself if you are shying away from structure because it’s formulaic or hampers your creativity.
I've always been a SOTP (Seat of the Pants) writer but after reading this book I found that not only did it spark ideas, but it gave me structure and guidance. As a SOTP writer, I like having the option of being able to change things around spontaneously and even though Blake shows you how to structure your story it really doesn't have to be set in stone.
So what is the first thing Blake suggests to do?
He stresses on the importance of creating a one to two sentence logline for your story. It must have irony and an adjective. And although Blake's beat sheet (The BS2) is well structured, I still feel I have the opportunity to change things around but yet it guides me just like a business plan does.
Next, you must think up a title for your story. Not just any title but a killer title that resonates. One that yells, "Hey, look at me!" Try it out on friends and strangers. Feel their reactions.
Did their eyes light up with excitement?
Did the title do its job?
Did they want to know more?
Are they hooked?
Make note of their reactions. If it didn't excite them as you hoped, maybe it's time to think up a few more titles.
Blake shares a ton more—but I'll shut up now so you can hear it all from the master himself. (Reading Save the Cat! is well worth it!)
So why the cat you say? Why not save the earth or save the giraffe? Well, I'm not one to give up spoilers so you'll have to read the book to find out. However, I can confidently say one thing though, you'll be thanking me later and you'll be glad that you've been introduced to Blake and his fabulous how-to guide.
Are you now anxious in finding out what Save the Cat! Is all about? You should be! With so much to cover, I've decided to break up the post into two parts. Tomorrow we'll talk about the Perfect Beast aka The Board. For now I will leave you with some great links you can learn from.
So your homework for today is to come up with a killer title and a killer hook. BTW in case you haven’t noticed Save the Cat! Is the first book in a three book series. I am anxious to read the other two and I can't wait to blog about them.
How about you? Have you read Save the Cat!? Have you heard about it? Please let me know if you are a STC fan and would be interested in future blog posts regarding STC.
NY best-selling author Jessica Brody raves about Save the Cat! After I heard about it from Alyson, I found that Jess loved it just as much and I was sold!
Author Vicky Dreiling shares an awesome post (mentioning Save the cat!) HERE Pitch Begins With Premise.
To Blake Snyder—such an inspiration to all writers.
You will be greatly missed! R.I.P