Genre: Non-Fiction/Writing Advice
One of Hollywood’s most successful spec screenwriters tells all in this fast, funny, and candid look inside the movie business. “Save the Cat” is just one of many ironclad rules for making your ideas more marketable and your script more satisfying – and saleable. This ultimate insider’s guide reveals the secrets that none dare admit, told by a show biz veteran who’s proven that you can sell your script if you can save the cat.
A clear, well-written guide to presenting your story to other people. It’s aimed at screenwriters, but it’s also a well-known tool for fiction and non-fiction writers. A lot of the information (such as know your genre, have a one line pitch) will be familiar to anyone who’s been following writing blogs or lurking in the query trenches, but if not then it’s a great place to start.
It covers lots of essential information, including genres, character archetypes, and my personal favourite the ‘beat sheet’, which breaks down most plots into a simple structure and can be very helpful for working out pacing problems and structural issues.
Blake can come across as irritating with his every-other-page self-promotion. I loved when he pulled out popular movies for examples of genres and styles, but I got sick of him reference his own ever-so-successful films and TV ideas. I’d never heard of any of them. This would have been fine in a smaller dose, but there was just too much of it.
I think I’ll dip into this book occasionally when I need a refresher on cliches, tropes, and plot structures – but it’s a difficult book to read from start to finish without Snyder’s comments getting on your nerves.