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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 (55 ratings)

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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)

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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 of 7 people found this review helpful

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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 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Lo
  • 18-06-19

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 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Cat Saved

Brilliant book! I would not hesitate to recommend this book. Read by the author so she understands what she’s reading unlike many other audio books. I find it easy to listen to as properly annunciated.

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The best book on writing I’ve ever read\listened to

Beautifully read by the author. It’ll have you eager to use the 15 beats in your own writing and you’ll be looking for them in all your favourite novels and films. A book packed with just about everything you’ll need to master the writing process.

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Great book, but beat-sheets long and repetitive

It's a great book - click and get it. However, I need to point out that beat-sheets are too long and repetitive. If the author is reading this... thank you for great narration and the book; but please cut down the beat-sheets after some time it gets really really boring... I had to skip them.

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Useful and insightful

Good enough that I bought a hard copy as well so I could mark pages and reference easily. Occasionally repetitive but that is a minor quibble as many of the repetitions are also very helpful to clarify points made.

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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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  • 27-10-18

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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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

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 10-10-18

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!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Arial Burnz
  • 23-10-18

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!

24 of 26 people found this review helpful

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  • SB
  • 26-02-19

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.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • M.C. Gallacher
  • 23-03-19

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • TBanny
  • 18-10-18

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

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Johnny Gonzalez
  • 28-04-19

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!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Drew Ross
  • 12-04-19

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Daniel Hofman
  • 09-06-19

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!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • MasterTorian
  • 05-06-19

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Laura Roser
  • 12-09-19

Wow!!

Love this book. The author does a fantastic job narrating too. I’ve read many books about how to write and this ranks as one of the top. She gives a ton of advice about how to structure a novel for different genres with many examples. Well done, Jessica Brody! Thanks for the great book!