The book is written by Jessica Brody. And I was given the book to review for the blog tour. I have the ebook and audiobook of it, and I was given the software as well. So first is the book and it is one of the best books about novel writing out there. It gives an outline with 15 beats. And it also talks about the 3 Act story, and has sections for each. Also, it goes over what is supposed to be where in the story, and even the percentage it is supposed to be in with examples from books. It even shows how the 15 beats are explained with ten worksheets breaking down the parts of the novel. It is easy to understand and makes me think of my own novels. It even tells you step by step of the 15 beats and where it all goes in the book. It also goes over the A story and B story which is something I have never thought of before. A story is external and B is internal, and each story changes the hero in some ways. It talks about themes in the beginning since every story teaches a lesson. That is why I write. It made me think about how I structure my story, and how to make it better. It makes you understand how to structure a story. It even goes through the various elements that make a story good. This is for a writer of any type. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned one this book is something you definitely need to make your novels better.
These 15 beats will make the story believable, and each section talks about what percentage of the story it is supposed to be. I love how in depth it goes and I plan on using Marina as an example while I write it. It helps you outline your novel. There is also novel writing software and it breaks it down into 15 beats to help you outline as well. It goes into depth about it, and I love using the software since it was everything a writer needs. It is very helpful to have an outline like this, and to finally have a good formula for crafting a story.
Every story has a character that has a want, need and problem. Even before writing it you may want to think about who will change the most to make the story based on their personal growth. A Story is the external world. And the B story is what it is really about. The internal story also is based off the ten universal lessons.
Every story has one of these.
And now we get to the beat sheet! This is how the outline is broken down and some details about how to use it and a description of it.
ACT 1(Thesis or statue quo world!)
1. OPENING IMAGE (0 TO 1%): A “before” snapshot of your hero and their world. First scene in the book. This would be where we see Marina in my book starting out talking about her world. It is an image and supposed to be visual showing her world. It shows us where the hero begins.
2. THEME STATED (5%): A statement made by a character (typically not the hero) that hints at what the hero’s arc will be (that is, what the hero must learn/discover before the end of the book). Marina is a powerful witch and she is supposed to step up to the plate when she becomes coven leader. Also promised to someone not out of love but out of necessity. She wanted a place to belong instead she doesn’t have one, and she is a rare witch that not only is half-angel and half-witch but she has the power to call dragons.
3. SETUP (1% TO 10%): An exploration of the hero’s status quo life and all its flaws, where we learn what the hero’s life looks like before its epic transformation. After going through all that Angeline contacts her to talk since she was the last AngelWitch to complete the circle. This is also where you meet A story characters. It is also the place where we find out what needs fixing. Also in the beat it is called the stasis=death since it means things need to change.
4. CATALYST (10%): An inciting incident (or life-changing event) that happens to the hero, which will catapult them into a new world or new way of thinking. Things are about to change especially for Marina since she can’t go home after someone tried to attack the coven looking for her and it is where she finds her mate. He is actually half vampire and half dragon.
5. DEBATE (10% TO 20%): A reaction sequence in which the hero debates what they will do next. It’s usually presented in the form of a question (such as “Should I go?”). Marina will have no choice but to go with them and hide and they can even turn to the mate for protection.
ACT 2 (The antithesis which is when Act 1 is turned upside down.) You can also call it fixing things the wrong way! Since everything is wrong before it is right!
6. BREAK INTO 2 (20%): The moment the hero decides to accept the call to action, leave their comfort zone, try something new, or venture into a new world or new way of thinking.
7. B STORY (22%): The introduction of a new character or characters who will ultimately serve to help the hero learn the theme. New characters are introduced, and this is where the vampires and dragons come in.
8. FUN AND GAMES (20% TO 50%): This is where we see the hero in their new world. (Promise of the Premise) Also is where the hero is up and down and it is where the hero gets to shine or flounder in the world.
9. MIDPOINT (50%): Literally the middle of the novel, where the Fun and Games culminates in either a false victory (the hero has thus far been succeeding) or a false defeat (the hero has thus far been floundering). It is also the messy middle and it is awesome to reach that point. Also where a false victory or defeat happens. Both A and B intersect. Stakes are raised in it.
10. BAD GUYS CLOSE IN (50% TO 75%): If the Midpoint was a false victory, this section will be a downward path where things get progressively worse for the hero. A lot of bad things happen, and in one of my novels everything got worse instead of better. The flaws of the hero come out.
11. ALL IS LOST (75%): The lowest point of the novel. Whiff of death also goes here since it is where everything seems hopeless.
12. DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL (75% TO 80%): A reaction beat where the hero takes time to process everything that’s happened thus far. This is where the magic happens at this point. Dark night epiphany and everything falls into place. Return to the familiar since it will be the point Marina gets to see everyone once time is passed.
ACT 3 (Synthesis)
13. BREAK INTO 3 (80%): The “aha!” moment. This is where you fix things the right way.
14. FINALE (80% TO 99%): The hero proves they have truly learned the theme and enacts the plan they came up with in the Break Into 3. This can also be broken up into 5 points and the longest part of the story.
1. Gathering the team which in my case gathering everyone since at some point Marina will be a fierce AngelWitch with her dragon powers. I will at some point show her at the place, and maybe she can even pick up a dragon friend.
2.Executing the plan where she actually gets to put her plan into place. I still haven’t figured out where to go with this yet.
3. The High Tower Surprise which is the twist I am still planning.
4. Dig Deep Down where to go from there. The theme of the story and looking at where she changed. The stuff she is now a part of, and there is no turning back. This is also the Touched by the divine part in the story too.
5. The Execution of the new plan which is the final sub-beat. The new plan that finally works.
15. FINAL IMAGE (99% TO 100%): A mirror to the Opening Image, this is the “after” snapshot of who the hero is after going through this epic and satisfying transformation. This is what happens after the events in the story.
Brody, Jessica. Save the Cat! Writes a Novel (p. 26). Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale. Kindle Edition.
I love how after it explains the outline it goes point by point with examples from other books to explain the breakdown. I have never wanted to take notes from a writing book as much as I want this one. It is easy to put it on a separate sheet to write the outline of the beats for the story. It even has the word counts for genres in it which is helpful going forward. This beat sheet is probably one of the best I have read since it has a thorough outline. And it helped me figure out where to go in the story, and what to do in the novel. In the next chapter they talk about genres and they go more in depth into them. There are only ten genres out there to study in the Save the Cat book.
Rites of passage.
Dude with a problem.
Out of the bottle.
Monster in the House.
It goes in depth about each and how your story has to be different from all the rest. I suggest you pick up this book. It will change how you see a story, and make you wonder why you didn’t pick it up in the first place. I love how the book breaks down all ten of them and even uses the beat sheets as an example. You will finally start to realize how invaluable this book is. It will help you build a better novel and make your story good from start to end! It takes a lot of the successful novels and breaks them down using these 15 beats and each of them fits into these ten different genres some of them will overlap! The Superhero section is what drew me in since I know Marina falls into that, and I will definitely keep that in mind while I write it. I will use this book as a guide to write my story, and if you write books pick this one up and use it too. You will find it is very helpful to use in creating the story you want to show readers, and you might even surprise yourself as you write it and study in the genre by reading the books you want to write. I love how it uses examples of bestsellers and breaks it down into the beat sheets by going into depth it makes me realize why the bestselling book is a best seller. By using this formula you will create a story worth telling. I hope you have enjoyed the review and I even made a video on the software which you can use with the book!
See the software below!
(Insert software video)
WOW! WOMEN ON WRITING TOUR
Save the Cat! Structure Software
Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody
Tour Begins April 27th
About Save the Cat!®
Save the Cat! provides writers the resources they need to develop their screenplays and novels based on a series of best-selling books, primarily written by Blake Snyder (1957- 2009). Blake’s method is based on 10 distinctive genres and his 15 story beats (the Blake Snyder Beat Sheet). Our books, workshops, story structure software, apps, and story coaching teach you everything you need to unlock the fundamentals and mechanics of plot and character transformation.
Find out more about Save the Cat! by visiting their webpage at http://www.savethecat.com.
About the Save the Cat Structure Software
Save the Cat! Story Structure Software is adapted from the Save the Cat! methodology to help screenwriters and novelists unlock the fundamentals of plot and character transformation. The Story Structure Software is a virtual writer board with digital index cards to help map out your story against the 15 beats or plot points to your story. The software enables writers to track emotional shifts of characters from scene to scene, develop profiles and edit and version your story with ease.
You can purchase a subscription to the Save the Cat! Structure Software at Save the Cat’s website.
About Save the Cat! Writes a Novel
An Amazon #1 best seller with over 500 reviews, it’s the first novel-writing guide from the best-selling Save the Cat! story-structure series, reveals the 15 essential plot points needed to make any novel a success.
In this revolutionary novel-writing guide from the best-selling Save the Cat! series, novelist Jessica Brody demystifies each beat, making it simple to learn the complexities of storytelling. The best-seller also reveals the ten universal story genres to help you drill down into what makes your type of story work. Featuring sample “beat sheets” for hits from the likes of J. K. Rowling, Khaled Hosseini, and Stephen King, this practical guide also includes real-world advice on pitching your novel, plus the quirky, original insights (like the eponymous tip to “Save the Cat”) that make this series unique. By the end of this book, your own imaginative beats will combine to create a story that thrills readers from start to finish.
Print Length: 320 Pages
Genre: Writing References
Publisher: Ten Speed Press/Random House Publishing LLC
Save the Cat! Writes the Novel is available as a print and e-book at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.
*I received a free copy of the book and software in exchange for my honest opinion!