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
5 out of 5 stars (469 ratings)

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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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  • SB
  • 02-26-19

Tip for finding the PDF!!!

I called customer service looking for the promised PDF. Turns out the file isn’t viewable via the Audible app. You have to log onto the actual Audible website for the “view PDF” link to appear in your library.

44 people found this helpful

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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!

35 people found this 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!

10 people found this helpful

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A nice compilation of best practices

I'm not a published writer but have always enjoyed a good science-fiction novel. I've always thought about writing a short story or a novel, so I thought I would give this book a try. I was surprised how much of the book was information I had heard before in little bits and pieces. It actually inspired confidence in me that I could write something that someone else would enjoy reading. In other words, that writing is a learnable skill and that I could do it.

I found the organization of the book to be useful and the examples to be more helpful than I anticipated. I am a skeptic by nature and believe that we has humans tend to accept evidence which supports our existing views and discard evidence which does not. I wondered at first if the examples would just be one-offs which support the methodology described in this book. The examples certainly do fit well with the hypothesis.

However, as I examine additional popular stories and movies, I increasingly believe that the approach described in this book is more the rule and less the exception. This doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of classic tales which don't follow this pattern, but that's not even the point. Creative writing (by definition IMO) doesn't have rules but that doesn't preclude certain tales/genres/patterns from being particularly appealing to the human mind.

8 people found this helpful

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A book that can’t be beat!

Phenomenal instructional book. You truly will not need another about how to write a novel.
The overall four star rating is not a reflection of the book or the author, but rather of audible because I did not receive the bonus PDF; or at the very least could not find it. When you buy the book, check for the PDF. If you don’t receive it, be sure to contact audible before you start the book. Now, I’m off for a re-read and a hunt for the PDF!

4 people found this 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

4 people found this helpful

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A wonderfully fun roadmap.

One of the first steps to actually writing your novel is to break down the daunting task into manageable parts. Only then are you able to write with some idea of where you are going. This is the most user friendly roadmap I’ve encountered yet.

3 people found this helpful

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  • E
  • 07-23-19

Finally!

Someone finally but together a clear instruction manual with many examples about assembling a novel, step by step.

2 people found this helpful

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Genuine effort, and thorough content, albeit a bit cheesy

I was pretty skeptical of this book, with the awareness that my inexperience would naturally make me bristle at the writer’s somewhat technical attitude towards plotting. And there were some aspects that I found hard to accept, but mostly I thought this book and the author had some fantastic insight into storytelling, and how the craft can be focused into great production.

The reading itself by the author was heartfelt, and I personally appreciate the effort, but it was also a little cheesy.

That being said, the genuine approach, coupled with what was at its core extremely detailed information, made this a great audiobook, and I’m glad I experienced it. I’d recommend this to any writer. Thanks Mrs. Brody!

2 people found this helpful

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A good blueprint

As with the Save The Cat screenwriting book, there is a lot of awesome information to be found here.

The flip side to that, is there are some things I disagree with.

That being said, if you're a writer or an aspiring writer of any skill level and at any point in your career (or lack thereof), this is absolutely a book you should read.

Regardless of how long you've been writing or how good your writing is, I challenge anyone to read this and not glean at least a handful of nuggets of wisdom.

If nothing else, there is a wonderful beat sheet that will almost certainly revolutionize either your outline process or your revision process, depending on what sort of writer you are.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Meg Z
  • 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.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Rosemarie Ellwood
  • 02-19-19

Fantastic! does exactly what it says in the title

Absolutely fantastic! This is the best book on writing I have ever listened to. I would highly recommend it to writers starting out.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-29-20

nobody likes vocal fry! why do it?

good book but can't finish it due to vocal fry of narrator. just can't bear it. sorry

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lo
  • 06-18-19

Save the cat but better

I’d been recommended save the cat, but to find a new edition focused on writing rather than screenplay was a bonus.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lobot
  • 05-12-20

Formula over creativity.

This is a sad place for any writer to end up.

Why write what you feel when you can write to a formula for success and money. The worst of humanity, where commerce directs art.

Shakespeare, Dickens, Bronte, Tolkien and many more made better without this lame approach.

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  • Azahara Sanchez Khan
  • 05-01-20

Fabulous

As someone who writes regularly and I am now writing my second novel this book was invaluable. I'll be reading and listening to it more than once. Thank you, the Save the Cat series has been my absolute Bible for screenwriting also so what a gift to have a novel version, so highly recommended.

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  • Dawn
  • 04-21-20

Brilliant insight into the world of storytelling!

Thoroughly enjoyed this audio book. Has given me so much insight into the writing craft. Just wish I'd read this sooner!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-05-20

Save the Cat? More like Save my Wiriter Dreams!

"Save the Cat! Writes a novel" delivered everything I wanted from it and more. I can't recommend it enough. Writing truly is a craftsmanship and after those hours of listening (all at once, it sucked me right in!) I feel like a different person, now a little closer to being a craftsman.
Regardless of your experience and knowledge, you will definitely find something valuable in this book. If you have anything to do with writing and plotting of any kind, you should absolutely check it out!

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  • Thomas Vale
  • 02-29-20

A must!

This is a must read not just for would be authors but for established successful ones too.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-23-20

Not ideal for audio book format

I listen to audio books while driving. The original Save The Cat book is very good. However thus version for novels is better suited to being able to pause and review examples of beatsheets etc.

The narrator is very engaging and she knows what she is talking about.

The audio book is enhanced greatly by the pdf.

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  • Paul Miller
  • 04-12-20

I am so motivated right now

I’ve been thinking about writing for a while, and not actually doing anything about it. I feel like this is the book I’ve been waiting for to fire the starting pistol.