book reviews (1)

Book Review: Save The Cat! Writes A Novel

 

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If you're like me and want to write a novel, I would highly recommend this book by Jessica Brody. It is a slam-dunk as far as getting you to understand writing plot points, characters and beats of your story. A few people had told me about this book and suggested it, but I somehow never got around to reading it...until now. Wow! It is amazing. And for a book on writing, and not just a novel to read for fun, it kept me turning the pages, page after page.

Ms. Brody lays out in clear explanation how a great story has an A story and a B story. "The A story is the external story," what happens, the journey your character takes on in order to accomplish whatever goal they are trying to reach. "...the B story is the internal story," whatever internal/personal goal the character must learn in order to grow, adapt, change as they go along on the journey.

I underlined and tagged so many pages, my book looks like it's throwing out confetti! I love how she goes into the details of how stories move the same as movies, through Acts 1, 2 and 3. She even goes further and breaks down Act 2 into 2a and 2b since this is the bulk of any story, the middle, the conflict. I even liked how she gave percentages of much each act should take up in your story.

The examples she breaks down into their respective parts are so thoroughly laid out in clear, clean, concise language that as I was reading, I was thinking, "Wow, okay, I get that now." And you will too, if you're looking for a straightforward way of understanding plot, acts, character development, climax and story end.

She uses a different type of "genre" breakdown. Rather than your standard, science fiction, romance, mystery genre breakdown, she goes into genres of what "type of story" it is. For instance, is your story a "Rites of Passage" story, a "Superhero" story, a "Buddy Love" story or a "Golden Fleece" story? Once you read the book, you'll understand what she means and, hopefully, it will open your eyes as it did for me.

Overall, this book was a knockout for me. Wish I had read it earlier. And, I enjoyed it so much, that I'm planning on reading "Save The Cat!" by Blake Snyder on screenwriting.

My grade: A+ for "Save The Cat! Writes A Novel." Hope you enjoy it and gain as much information from it as I did.

 

Jackie Cannon

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