Save the Cat!

Save the Cat!

The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need

Book - 2005
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"One of Hollywood's most successful spec screenwriters tells all in this fast, funny, and candid look inside the movie business. "Save the Cat" is just one of many ironclad rules for making your ideas more marketable and your script more satisfying - and saleable. This ultimate insider's guide reveals the secrets that none dare admit, told by a show biz veteran who's proven that you can sell your script if you can save the cat."--BOOK JACKET.
Publisher: Studio City, CA : M. Wiese Productions, [2005]
Copyright Date: ©2005
ISBN: 9781932907001
Branch Call Number: Performing Arts 808.23 Sny


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Apr 20, 2017

The best book on macro structure for novelists too. (Story, McKee, is also terrific, but it's denser and more detailed, and this goes down super-easy in comparison.) One doesn't need to slavishly follow it--it's perfectly fine to flip two of the bits of outline if that makes more sense for what you're writing. It might just serve as the skeleton outline with with you start outlining your screenplay or novel, and then you'll "riff" on it and switch things around even more.

But it's incredibly useful as is. The hardest thing to learn in writing novel-length fiction is structure. Bickham explains scene structure well in his books (following his own teacher Dwight Swain's system), but the big picture? No writing book had done it for fiction writers, not ever. (I read a lot of them, and they all had something lacking.) This does give a system that works for any commercial novel and is flexible enough to make your own.

That it's quick, fun, and uses examples most people will be familiar with is icing on the cake.

Aug 18, 2013

To answer indigo lion 24...

Inception follows the rules outlined in this book to the tee.
The only difference is that the timeline is broken up and told in reverse.
They teach you that in Screenwriting 101.
I'm a screenwriter of 10 years experience and INCEPTION is one of the3 worst scripts ever written. It's chock full of exposition....which is death to a good script. I literally had to clench my teeth to get through it.
If you're a 12 year old action movie fanboy...or have the mental age of one... you might think that film is good.
Save the cat is mainly for hero driven action type movies, but it succintly puts together the correct structure of a screenplay. Nolan should read it...he might do better next trime.

indigo_lion_24 May 09, 2013

Book has some good pieces of advice and practical insight from a guy who has been in the game as an actual screenwriter.

However, I couldn't shake that uneasy feeling i get when i read any book that tries to lay down the law about what is at it's heart an artistic enterprise-writing.

My suspicions were confirmed when the author, midway for the book says, "Screw Memento," a film which broke all his screenwriting rules and which though he admits is entertaining didn't make enough money for him to take it into account.

This is where I realized the book could prob be better titled, "How to be a successful hack."

Memento is a film far better than anything this author has penned and from the creative genius Christopher Nolan who went on to create Inception, a groundbreaking achievement in cinema.

This guy is in the pee wee leagues compared to him and should show way more respect for the creative process and departures that truly talented artists make when they create great movies.

Sep 29, 2011

Many nuggets of wisdom - and reminders that he's a successful screenwriter, so knows what he's talking about. His structure of 15 beats in a screenplay is interesting, and I suppose could fit a novel too. Might buy this for my writing shelf.

Aug 24, 2011

This is an invaluable book for any kind of writer. I could read it again and again.

Aug 05, 2011

"Save the Cat!" was a fun, chatty read but certainly not "the last book on screenwriting you'll ever need." I found his advice "Don't involve the press" - meaning, in the story, don't have media reporting about the character's adventure - probably good advice. Snyder says he got it from Spielberg who deliberately kept out a press element in ET. Logically, in the real world, the media would be all over a real live alien. But, in the story world, involving the press in the story seems to make the story seem less real. I think that might be true.
Overall, Save the Cat! had little bits of wisdom here and there.


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