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Save the Cat! Writes a Novel

The Last Book on Novel Writing You'll Ever Need
Narrated by: Jessica Brody
Length: 10 hrs and 49 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (98 ratings)
Regular price: $28.00
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Publisher's Summary

The first novel-writing guide from the best-selling Save the Cat! story-structure series, which reveals the 15 essential plot points needed to make any novel a success.

Novelist Jessica Brody presents a comprehensive story-structure guide for novelists that applies the famed Save the Cat! screenwriting methodology to the world of novel writing. Revealing the 15 "beats" (plot points) that comprise a successful story - from the opening image to the finale - this audiobook lays out the 10 story genres ("Monster in the House"; "Whydunit"; "Dude with a Problem") alongside quirky, original insights ("Save the Cat"; "Shard of Glass") to help novelists craft a plot that will captivate - and a novel that will sell.

With a PDF that includes charts, lists, and exercises from the audiobook.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2018 Jessica Brody (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Every novelist should own a copy of this book. It will change the way you think about stories - and your writing. Jessica Brody takes the mystery and frustration out of plotting a novel. I’ll never write another book without a copy of Save the Cat! Writes a Novel.” (Kami Garcia, number-one New York Times best-selling coauthor of Beautiful Creatures and author of Broken Beautiful Hearts)

"Good plotters aren't born. They're formed by studying the twists and turns of others' stories. Save the Cat! Writes a Novel is a perfect plot study tool for all levels of writer. It will help you dissect any plot conundrum, conceive your story's blueprint, and give a beat to every pivot of your hero's journey." (Grant Faulkner, executive director of National Novel Writing Month and author of Pep Talks for Writers: 52 Insights and Actions to Boost Your Creative Mojo)

“Through its insightful use of beat sheets, genres, and trade secrets, this book is an invaluable guide through the daunting task of writing a novel.” (Jessica Khoury, author of The Forbidden Wish and Last of Her Name)

What members say

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Yes...It IS the LAST Book on Novel Writing...

Yes...this IS the LAST book on novel writing you'll ever need. And it should be the FIRST if you're just getting into novel writing.

I've been writing for over 20 years and this book takes the guess work out of how to write a GOOD or even SPECTACULAR novel. As an editor, I've encountered hundreds of horrible stories that had a ton of potential. If I had this book when I was an editor, I would have recommended it to every single one of my writers. It not only helps you craft a great story, but it helps you tighten up one you have already written.

I was a bit put off at first that the author was narrating the novel (because that doesn't go well more often than not), but I'm too busy NOT to have bought the audiobook. I just don't have the time to sit down and focus in the middle of a remodel and I've already read the Save the Cat! books for screenplays. I knew this would be good. My attitude was that I would grin and bear it and glean the information. Jessica Brody did a surprisingly good job and the production quality was superb! No clicks, inappropriate breaths or technical issues.

This has already helped me figure out what's wrong with my current WIP (work in progress) and why my other novels aren't as good as they can be. I'll be recommending this to all my author friends and I won't plot another book without it!

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Excellent work!

I preordered the book, but was pleasantly surprised to see the audible version was released the same day. I just couldn't stop listening. I've been a fan of save the cat, and this book, in my opinion is the "missing link" that unites the other books, for a deeper and yet simple understanding of the Blake Snyder beat sheet method. Good job!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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loved it

I have been waiting for a long time for cave the cat to come out in a book just for novels and it didn't disappoint

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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The Best Guide for Novel Writers

I just love this book! I purchased copies for everyone in my writing/critique group. I love the way the author makes the arduous path to a successful novel so much easier by virtue of her ability to cut to the heart of the matter and provide guidance at every juncture. This book answered every question I've ever had about story theory and novel plot structure. Thank you, Jessica!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Thank you!

This book has been so helpful! I realized just how does my outline was, but also figured out how to fix it. perfect!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • AJ
  • 02-16-19

More a compliation of book reviws

After reading online reviews touting the greatness of the instruction found in this book like "The last book on writing novel you'll ever need" and "If only I'd found this book years ago" one could be forgiven for expecting the seas to part and the mists retreat as you are treated to a treasure trove of knowledge that will transform your writing forever.

Sadly this was NOT the case for me. In truth it was quite the opposite. Through a brief introduction in the first chapter Brody describes what she calls the 15 "beats" found in every story. This basically covers common plot points and story archs popularly found in various genres. If you've read other books on writing, you will have seen much of the same type of information presented. just in a more concise manner.

Most of this book reads like a long compilation of novel reviews, with brief references to a "beat" that is approaching or passed by. (Along with page numbers of said book. So that you could read Harry Potter and scan through pages 553-601* to see the "break into 3" happen for yourself.

The PDF that comes with the book on audible is useful once you have learned the slang and terminology she uses when describing plot/arch points of various story genres. This certainly is helpful in allowing you to more go back and look at examples without listening to lengthy novel reviews repeatedly.

Yet listening to long reviews and descriptions of books is exactly what you hear in this book with comments on "beats" peppered in. Some of the beats seem shoehorned in and out of place as if inserted later purely to imply a universal application of the method. Considering that the entire book is based on a method originally designed for television & movie screenwriters, it makes sense that some of her technique translates better then others.

The gut of the book revolves around tying plot and characters into the cat method. If your looking for a how to on great characters, or plot I have seen it done better elsewhere. Likewise if you want a jack of all trades book that covers gambit of useful novelist techniques it too as been done better elsewhere.

That is not to say this book is empty. Once I had mined and bookmarked the tiny nuggets of information and downloaded the PDF there were some interesting patterns that appeared to take shape. Were they coincidences or a true recipe to a masterful novel? I leave that to you, but allow me to end with this:

As I listened I could not escape the thought returning that I was reading a lot of fluff to inflate page count in a book that could convey the information and plenty of good examples of their use in FAR fewer pages.


*The pages and location cited were made up as an example, please don't go looking there. (I don't even think there are that many pages in the book tbh. :)

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Thrilled

Read lots of books on this subject; this was by far the most practical one.

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One of the best books on writing I've read...

....and I've read a lot of them.

I got this on audio and after listening to about 1/4 of it, got it on Kindle too so I could highlight the parts I needed. It's been an excellent tool to help me with my next novel, the one I've been floundering with for 2 years, not knowing where I was going wrong. Bingo. Now I do and it all makes so much sense I wish I'd read this long before now. My newest work is light years better thanks to Jessica and Save the Cat Writes a Novel.

I don't know for sure, but I think the people complaining about not getting the PDF may not be looking in the right place because it's right there in your library where this book appears. It says "view PDF" and from there you can download and or print.

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Good application of Save The Cat

Breaking down the genres into different story types is a useful strategy for applying the original technique to novel writing. I appreciated the fine points among the different story types.

My quibble is personal. The story chosen for my preferred type of story is a book I didn't like. Not that Ms. Brody was to know this. Even though you can't please all the people all the time, I wish she had chosen a more traditional example of the type rather than a book that has polarized reviews (loved it/hated it) and is a new style within the type. Still, I listened to the entire book and plan to go over it again, pen and notebook at the ready.

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Didn't receive the promised PDF

I was told there would be a copy of the beat sheet, you know... The one they promised.. Still fantastic, so 4 stars

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Meg Pajak
  • 10-17-18

Excellent!

This is very practical audiobook with useful PDF companion that I found very helpful. It's worth recommending to anybody who writes fiction but I found it very interesting tool to analyse the books I know and well love. One of the best guides I have ever bought.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Customer
  • 01-25-19

Great advice and enjoyable presentation

Please forgive grammar errors as I’m not native in English :)

This book is clear, useful and encouraging guide for your book plot. It clearly states what kind of emotional turns are needed to keep the reader invested in your story. I really appreciate this book for clearly told advice as it is not easy to give understandable guidelines for a plot. With this book I corrected a few flaws in my plan, which I could not have discovered on my own. I like my design a lot more after checking it with advice from this book. I found my confidence in my story and have begun the writing process. I warmly recommend this book!

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  • S
  • 10-27-18

An excellent addition to the Save the Cat series!

If you have the Save the Cat books you know there are topics that need more explanation. Jessica fills in those areas with the same love for her fellow writers as Blake had for us bullheads. It is also an excellent treasure chest of the best advice on plotting and structuring of a story, with examples from both classic and popular fiction.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-22-18

Love it!

Really good novel which cuts straight into the intimidating abyss that is the uncertainty of writing a novel. Would recommend to anyone who needs the tools for writing a novel using a premise from screenplay writing