Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Save The Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need by Blake Snyder

Save The Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting…
Well, I have had a bit of a performance sourcing, no trying to source this book.

Devon Libraries do not have a copy anywhere in the County. I asked at the library if they could source a copy from an out of County library. The answer was yes, but there are only 3 copies in the Country available for loan. I filled the request form in and then headed to Amazon.

Amazon listed the book and was out of stock. I completed the alert function that asked that I be dropped an email when back in stock so I could order it.  I looked at the Kindle version which was over £7. Too much, for a kindle book that I am not likely to read again. Incidentally, the physical book came back into stock at a much higher price, so I passed.

I looked at Book Mooch and a few other options, but failed miserably. So I have not managed to read the book, I have however managed to read the very limited preview available on Amazon.

The preview gives a small section of each chapter and I especially liked this one as it, like last month's book features index cards - I love 'em!

From the limited access I had, the book has a similar style to that of Bird by Bird which I reviewed last month and you can read HERE. It feels very much conversational coaching and that is a much nicer reading and learning style.

Writing for the screen requires, I believe vision and when you turn a book into a screen production - play or movie without the correct vision it does not always work. I am a visual person. I like to see the result rather than a series of plans. I once looked at a house that was going to be a new build. The agent was showing us where the bath was going to be and then tapped the plans. That does not work for me. I need to get a sense of context and reality.

Any writing that I have done has always been with the plan and vision of the work being text. I have never had the plan or want to turn any of it into a screen version. I don't have that ambition or vision. Does that make me a poor writer? What I can do is write and portray an image of a historical period, context or individual, but taking the next step to a touch of the theatricals is not my thing.

Taking part in the Progressive Book Club


  1. Hi Julie-- This actually has a much different feel than Bird By Bird. I checked it out from the library but actually think Save the Cat is a book worth buying. It's actually more like a manual -- with very specific advice for screenwriting that translates very well for writing a book. I hear the concern about price-- sometimes books exceed our budgets, but this one is a keeper and,I bet if you write novels, will be one you refer to again. Nice to see you again!

    1. Hi Julie, we meet again!

      Thanks for your recommendation to buy the book. The book is still on request from the Out of County system here in the UK, so hopefully I will be able to look at the book. Failing that I will purchase and see how I get on. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Agree with Julie about the different feel and the value. I finally *got* plot when I read STC, and loglines, too. Much of the book doesn't apply to writing fiction, but the parts that do are worth the price, IMHO.

    Another place you can get similar information (at no cost) is Jami Gold's blog.

  3. Melissa, thank you for your response. I had another look at the Amazon site, read the reviews there & on LibraryThing. I ordered it & it should be here early next week.

  4. I purchased it because my library didn't carry it, and I kept hearing wonderful things about this book. I think it's worth getting. I felt like much of the advice found in other writing books was in a condensed form here, but with a more practical side to it. It's true that Snyder's absolute numbers and certain screenplay techniques don't apply to novelists as much, but he does an excellent job detailing how to write a story well, and how to keep the pace moving.


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