Save the Cat! Writes a Novel Book Review

This book review of Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody is for all the novel writers out there who might need a little extra help with plotting their novels.

Save the Cat! breaks down the essential plot points, or beats, of writing a novel in an easy to understand and follow way. Jessica looks at popular novels from all genres, dissects them, and explains what make them work so writers can use the elements in their own novels.

Reading Save the Cat! is like having a conversation with a friend who understands the struggles of plotting a novel, and wants to pass on what she’s learned to help you. This is not a dry, boring how-to book. It is a hey, we’re in this together, let me help you book.

The fifteen chapters cover:

  • Creating the story-worthy hero
  • The end of all your plotting problems
  • Ten genres to fit any story
  • Detectives, deception, and the dark side
  • When life gets in the way
  • Join ’em, leave ’em, or take ’em down
  • Being extraordinary in an ordinary world
  • Surviving the ultimate test
  • Victory of the underdog
  • The transformative power of love (or friendship)
  • A little bit of magic goes a long way
  • Road trips and Quests and Heists, oh my
  • More than just a scary story
  • How to write killer loglines and Dazzling Synopeses
  • You got problems, I got solutions

Something for everyone.

The section I appreciate most is Save the Cat! Beat Sheets in the plotting section. Jessica showed how writing is divided into three acts and further divided into fifteen total beats or plot points. She detailed each beat with examples of how they worked in popular novels. Additionally, she showed how to break the beats into a workable storyboard.

Although Save the Cat! is an easy read, it is not a book to rush through. Not if you want to absorb all the book offers. It is a book to take your time reading, highlight, cogitate on, apply to your writing, and read all over again. At least is was for me.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

I wish you well.


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I received a complimentary copy of this book for the W.O.W. blog tour for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

You can find my May Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.