Review: Save The Cat

Save The Cat Book Cover
Save The Cat How To Michael Wiese Productions Kindle 215 pages Amazon

He’s made millions of dollars selling screenplays to Hollywood and now screenwriter Blake Snyder tells all. “Save the Cat” is just one of Snyder’s many ironclad rules for making your ideas more marketable and your script more satisfying – and saleable, including: the four elements of every winning logline; the seven immutable laws of screenplay physics; the ten genres and why they’re important to your movie; why your Hero must serve your idea; and, how to get back on track with ironclad and proven rules for script repair. This ultimate insider’s guide reveals the secrets that none dare admit, told by an industry veteran who’s proven that you can sell your script if you can save the cat. It helps you learn the seven immutable laws of screenplay physics, and discover 10 genres and why they’re important. It also helps you to get back on track with ironclad and proven rules for script repair.

Blake Snyder takes you through the process of crafting a screenplay stage by stage based on his many year experience in the business. His beat sheet setting out the key milestones in the films narrative structure has been used successfully in many, many films and is referred to regularly. There are other templates for screenplays, of course, but this is a very accessible and essential guide to help you get the structure right and your ideas in order to make sure your screenplay hits the high notes along each of the beats, instead of being a bum note in a one-man orchestra.

The sections in the book are as follows. These are my headings as they represent what Blake talks about in each of the chapters. The order of thinking is key also – though it can be tempting to dive in and just start writing (as many writers do) – but the key to a successful script is the order of the process and the thinking that goes behind the development process. Any snippets your have in your scrapbook are always welcome and could slot in somewhere in the beats, but you may often find them tossed out or rewritten to fit better once you start with a helicopter view.

  • Logline & Title
  • Genre
  • Hero
  • Structure
  • The Board
  • Immutable Laws
  • Fixing Problems
  • Final Fade In

If you want to write screenplays, pick up this book.

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By Edward

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    About me

    About 40 years ago, I discovered role-playing and Dungeons and Dragons in one of the after school clubs. It revealed a universe that allowed me to flex my storytelling muscles and enjoy a mixture of fantasy and sci-fi and feed the escapist dreamer inside.

    Over time, I played (and story-led - marked with *) many systems including Call of Cthulhu*, Shadowrun, Dungeons & Dragons*, Middle Earth, In Nomine*, Bushido, Chivalry & Sorcery, Chill, Warhammer, Warhammer 40k, Gammaworld, Hawkmoon, Stormbringer, Immortals*, Marvel Super Heroes, Paranoia, RuneQuest, Vampire: The Masquerade*, and a couple of systems my own devising (Medieval* and Parody*).

    I explored live-action role-playing – eventually running my own club and creating my own LARP systems (Fools Gold and Dream Conquest) – and usually found myself in script-writing or game-master duty, writing over 500 individual live adventures over the period (usually weekly), many linked into the world events of the fantasy land we created. I also volunteered for Curious Pastimes and Lorien Trust at their main LARP events (special effects at the Ritual Circle), and did a little script work, cameos and improv for Curious Pastimes. I was also the South East's Editor (UK) for the LARP magazine The Adventurer. The biggest event I ran was a 10-month modern-day "murder mystery" LARP set around parts of Kent where characters were "always-on" and could get updates and interactions at any time outside of scheduled events. That was in the 1990s.

    I was also the artistic director for English Heritage for their live Halloween Horrors events at Fort Amherst in Kent from 1998-1999.

    Now, I write as the mood takes me with occasional competitions and challenges, and this year (2020) I will be taking on #NaNoWriMo.

    Here's to the future!