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Publisher's 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

What the critics say

“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)

What listeners say about Save the Cat! Writes a Novel

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    3 out of 5 stars

Not much new here from the original Save The Cat

I was hoping this book would differentiate itself from the screenplay version and focus on the unique craft of novel writing. However, there isn't much to learn here that isn't already covered in the previous screenplay centric 'Save The Cat' book. For example, films almost always have a prologue or hook that has nothing to do with the main character yet. Usually we see the Villain or prologue scene forshadowing the plot before we even meet the hero. In Novels, the hook often requires meeting the hero right away or even having the inciting incident in the first chapter. Having a prologue at all in a novel is hotly contested. After reading this book, I was disappointed that it didn't focus on these differences between writing for film and Novel writing. Overall it is an easy read and delivered well, but it doesn't live up to the title. If you already own Save The Cat, and are familiar with its beat structure, there isn't much to gain from Save The Cat for Novel writing.

2 people found this helpful

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Easy to Learn With Jessica

It is what I have been looking for. She is there for the writer and offers step-by-step instructions on how to write a story with the correct elements from start to finish that is required to write a good book. Her voice is easy to listen to. I would rate her to be one of the top teachers for writers with not a bunch of filler but she gets right to the point.I take her courses on Udemy also and her teaching is fun and makes me want to finish my book,

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AMAZING!

Loved it! Opened my eyes on storytelling by today's standards. So grateful to Jessica and her work. This one is a keeper and I will and must go back to that book over and over again. Not to mention the valuable pdfs she shares. I recommend this book to anyone looking to publish a novel.

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excellent reference of the15 story beats

I've read the book and listened to the audiobook (via audible). This book gives great advice on how to breakdown Blake Scheider's 15 beats for a novel. There's plenty of reference to other novels that you can review to see how they did it. This will be a reference I come back to time and again. I've marked up and tabbed my book and put bookmarks in audible. Audible book comes with a free pdf which was good reference.

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Well-Rounded Writer's Resource

For outlining and revising, this book is a helpful resource that encourages you to write a well-rounded draft. Lots of good information especially for newbie writers.

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  • SB
  • 2019-02-26

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.

100 people found this helpful

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  • Arial Burnz
  • 2018-10-23

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!

49 people found this helpful

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  • M.C. Gallacher
  • 2019-03-23

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.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2018-10-10

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!

12 people found this helpful

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  • Kevin Potter
  • 2019-06-05

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.

6 people found this helpful

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  • TBanny
  • 2018-10-18

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

6 people found this helpful

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  • Daniel Hofman
  • 2019-06-09

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!

5 people found this helpful

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  • Johnny Gonzalez
  • 2019-04-28

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!

5 people found this helpful

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  • Drew Ross
  • 2019-04-12

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.

5 people found this helpful

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  • E
  • 2019-07-23

Finally!

Someone finally but together a clear instruction manual with many examples about assembling a novel, step by step.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Lord Ricky
  • 2020-02-13

Je recommande pour les débutants

Pour ceux qui n'ont aucune connaissance, et qui souhaitent appréhender l'écriture scenarique je le recommande. Je ne donne pas 5 étoiles car a mon sens les premiers chapitres sont très instructifs, passés le premier 1/3 ce n'est plus qu'une succession d'exemples apliqués à différents styles d'ouvrages.