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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Recommended Craft Book: Save The Cat

I love it when a craft book immediately sets my mind to whirring on one of my WIPs and starts me to thinking about new angles and new possibilities. Save The Cat did that for me this weekend.

I can't figure it out, but somehow this book on screenwriting flew under my radar. There's a lot of things in life I have a hard time staying on top of, but I'm usually fairly well up to date about the latest writing books, seeing as how its one of my key procrastination techniques to avoid writing my own stuff. LOL! Until someone recently mentioned Blake Snyder's Save The Cat on the ACFW Loop (whoever mentioned it-THANK YOU!), I had never heard of it before--and it was published back in 2005!

I highly recommend this book--whether or not you write screenplays. I find screenplay books just as beneficial to novel writers. And what I like about Save The Cat is that it takes concepts long ago taught by Syd Field and others and IMPROVES them. The beat sheet alone is well worth picking up the book.

Granted, I haven't read all the screenplay books out there, but his approach in teaching through this book keeps you glued to the pages (though I confess my eyes began to glaze over during talk about "The Board", even though I can see it's merit.)

I know a book has been valuable when I am furiously scratching down several pages of notes and having fun doing it. I can't wait to type them up! Yep, I'm a true geek at heart.

I enjoyed the book so much I looked up the author's website tonight intending to send an email complementing him on an excellent job. I was saddened and dismayed to learn on the website that the author passed away last year so now I have no way of saying thanks.

But I highly recommend the book to screenwriters and novel writers alike. While screenplays and novels are two different animals, they each need to be plotted out (even pantsers have to plan their stories just a little!) and I think you will find tremendous value in Save the Cat.

Certainly a great way for a working author to leave a legacy. Thanks, Mr. Snyder!

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