Save the Cat! Cracking the Code Course Review

If you are a writer, then the following blog post is for you.

I’ve just completed the Save the Cat! Cracking the Code Online Course based on Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat! screen writing approach, and cannot say enough good things about it. Information from this course applies to all fiction writing, and is designed for writers to turn their ideas into a movie or novel. Last year I reviewed Save the Cat! Writes a Book so the name might sound familiar.

Here is what you receive for $59 from this self-paced six months access course of 25 individual lessons :

  • Over 3 hours and 17 minutes broken into of original video production
  • 9 downloadable worksheets
  • 3 reading assignments (book not included)
  • 4 homework assignments

The course teaches how to:

  • Create a solid beat sheet that will serve as the blueprint, road map, and “backbone” of your story 
  • Identify and know the key components of your story genre
  • Learn the clichés of your genre so that you can break them like an artist
  • Plot your hero’s “transformation”
  • Troubleshoot your story idea for viability 
  • Write a compelling logline or elevator pitch
  • Develop a title to your story that anyone can visualize

In addition to the course, I received Save the Cat! Beat Cards, and Save the Cat! scene cards.

Save the Cat! Beat Cards are 3×5 index cards you can use to plot your story’s key plot points from Opening Image to Final Image. Each set contains 15 individual index cards with explanations of each beat. Although these cards are handy, if you go through the course or read the book, you can make your own cards using plain 3×5 cards.

With Save the Cat! Scene Cards you receive 40 color-coded 3×5 cards that list the elements needed for every scene. Again, as with the Beat Cards they’re handy, but you could use plain index cards if you’d like.

Although the course description says it takes 3 hours and 17 minutes of video, I found myself stopping the video and backing it up to absorb all the information presented. With that said, it took me longer to finish the course.

The lectures include examples from movies which provide additional clarity. By the end of the course, everything started to fall into place. I saw how the information would help the weak areas in my current work in progress and improve my overall novel writing.

If you’re looking for a great online writing course that dives deep into the art of storytelling, Save the Cat! Cracking Your Beat Sheet course may just be the thing.

I wish you well.


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I received this course and Save the Cat! cards through the W.O.W. blog tour for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

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

No Fairy Tale

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

What do you look for in a story? A fantastic setting that whisks you away? A scene so real you can smell the air around it? Characters you easily relate to? A plot with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing? A hero or heroine so incredibly wonderful you can’t help but fall in love with them? A villain so vile you can’t wait for him to be destroyed?

Writers invent settings, scenes, characters and plots that, hopefully, will entrance readers and have them turning pages until The End. It’s our job. It’s what we do. Sometimes we do it more successfully than at other times. But weaving words together in a pleasing way is the ultimate goal. We want to tell a good story with a satisfying ending.

Before I begin to craft my historical fiction worlds and characters, I do a lot of research. I plunge deep into resources to make sure I get the facts correct. My favorite type of resource is called primary. Those eyewitness records are not second-hand stories. They are not made up. They are true.

I read primary sources to get a feel for the experiences of those who lived in years past. I read diaries, letters, and first person accounts. I read old recipes and marvel at the cookware used. I visit historical museums. I walk battlefields that ran red. I look at photographs. I study mannequins’ clothing…

My goal in doing all of this is to experience the truth, the reality of what it was like to live in whatever time period I happen to be working on, so I can recreate that reality in my fiction.

The writers of the Bible were primary sources. They were eyewitnesses to the events that unfolded before them. Through the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, they were given the characters. The plot. The scenes. The twists and turns. The heroes and villains.

In the years following Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension back into heaven to sit on his throne at God’s right hand, his followers were under attack. Many people accused them of inventing a clever story. Their testimony of a risen Lord was too fantastic. Too amazing. Too hard to believe. But it was the truth. It was real.

Instead of accepting the Apostles’ eyewitness testimony, people accused them of being deluded. They didn’t trust the primary source.

If we can visit museums, walk battlefields, and read diaries  written by people who lived centuries ago and believe the words on the page to be true, shouldn’t we believe and trust the words that are written in God’s Holy Word by eyewitnesses, when so much more depends on it ?

It isn’t a made up fairy tale, you know.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this please share it through the social media buttons.

We were not following a cleverly written-up story when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ—we actually saw his majesty with our own eyes. He received honour and glory from God the Father himself when that voice said to him, out of the sublime glory of Heaven, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’. 2 Peter 1:16-17 (Phillips)

I wish you well.


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One of my devotions will appear on Inspire a Fire. Please stop by and check it out.