Save the Cat Writes a Novel Book review

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Save a Cat thumbnail
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.
They are:
Forgiveness
Love
Acceptance
Faith
Fear
Trust
Survival
Selflessness
Responsibility
Redemption
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.
Whydunit.
Rites of passage.
Institutionalized.
Superhero. (Marina!)
Dude with a problem.
Fool Triumphant.
Buddy Love.
Out of the bottle.
Golden Fleece.
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

OF

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
ASIN: B078VWDNKT
ISBN-10: 0399579745
ISBN-13:978-0399579745

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!

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Mia Cover Reveal and Ember Updates!

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Here is the cover, and I finished the edits and turned it into the editor last night. I have had a busy morning since I edited Ember one last time. I formatted it and hit publish! It feels good, and I will post the link when it’s live on the Amazon store!

I even made videos on the publishing process.

Formatting Ember with Vellum: https://youtu.be/AougvXQk-TU

Publishing Ember to Kindle:  https://youtu.be/Ig4gbzX8Rvw

And here is a video of me editing Ember!

I hope you enjoyed a sneak peek, and I will post an excerpt and link when Ember is live!

Until next time,

Jessica Samuels

Writing a Serial for the first time…

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I have wanted to try out this style for a while since I heard it’s basically like releasing episodes one at a time. I also have a project I can use it with, and I don’t want to publish on amazon at first. I’ll be publishing it to sites like my blogs, Wattpad, Radish, and others. It will be an interesting experiment to try too. I have been thinking about it for a while, and it’s something that I think would be fun doing. And while writing these stories I have discovered more stories to tell in the future of which I have written down for later. It’s fun going through the girls stories, and why they want to win Hyperion and Zephyr’s heart. Their pasts even come into play during the show, and these challenges are unlike any other, of course, it will be hard to come up with ones for everything. The first thing I am going to release is the girls stories. They are different creatures and come from different backgrounds. It’s a mix, and I’ll be able to show people different relationship stories that ended. I already have the cover for it too, and I’ll use it when I post new stories. I have finished a few, and I just need to type them up. Writing by hand helps keep the juices flowing, and it’s easy to finish once I sit down and get started. It’s also a new format to learn, and maybe if I like it I can continue to do it. I will definitely post my progress on my blog since I want to show people the process. I did base it off shows like Rock of Love, Flavor of love, Real Chance of love, and even The Bachelor. I am going to release the girls stories as I work on them to this blog, and I even got the cover. And hopefully when the girls stories are done I can release the episodes till it’s done, and then make a paperback out of it. It will be exclusively on Amazon for 90 days, and if there aren’t too many page reads I can release it wide. After writing for a while, and reading blogs/being in author Facebook groups you kind of get a feel for what to do. And I will be New York bound soon, and I’ll blog about it and take pictures. It will be fun to escape for a while, and I’ll be able to write and read on the way to and from New York! It will be an adventure since I’ve never been there!

Until next time,

Jessica

 

Bloodlines by C. L Cannon Cover Reveal!

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bloodlinesebookcover

Blurb:

Bloodlines follows fraternal twins Anso and Ava at the very start of magic itself.

When Anso discovers there’s something different about him, something inhuman, he knows he must keep it a secret. His father, his entire village would disown him, or worse. There’s one person, however, who he cannot hide from, his twin sister, Ava. Ava sees right through Anso’s distress and promises to keep his secret while yearning for a power of her very own.

As Anso explores his newfound abilities, he also finds a friend with a similar problem. Could there be more like him?

This is the story of how an ordinary boy became a legend, a leader, the sister who stood by him through it all, and the best friend who taught him to embrace his differences.

Fans of X-Men, Harry Potter, and The Mortal Instruments will enjoy this series starter.

 

Buying info:

You can pre-order Bloodlines for just .99!

Preorder from Amazon

Add it to your Goodreads TBR list

 

About C.L. Cannon

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C.L. Cannon is a wife, mother, book nerd, publisher, author, designer, editor, and just about any other thing with an -er sound at the end! She loves music, and frequently sings in the car, much to the dismay of the other cars surrounding her! Her favorite thing to write about is the relationship between friends, both romantically and platonically. She’s also a huge anglophile! She enjoys networking with other authors and making new friends!

You can find C.L. Cannon at the following links:

http://clcannon.net/
https://www.facebook.com/clcannonauthor/
https://twitter.com/CLCannonAuthor
https://www.bookbub.com/profile/c-l-cannon
https://www.instagram.com/cl_cannon
http://amazon.com/author/clcannon
https://www.goodreads.com/CLCannon
http://youtube.com/c/clcannonauthor

I hope you enjoyed this post, and if you are an author then let me know. I’ll definitely love to help you out!

 

Why I left Kindle for one book, and AngelWitch is done! Life After College!

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Blank notepad over laptop and coffee cup

School is over leaving me to focus on finding a full time job, and it also means I can focus on other projects. AngelWtich rough draft is also done, and since it was by hand I have to put all the changes in the word doc. I also pulled Tales from Behind the Counter from Kindle Unlimited and I left The Killer Contract Agency there since it might do better. I’m at a cross roads in my life since I’m out of school it gives me time to focus on the stuff I want to do. I’m also uploading gameplay videos to a separate Youtube channel then my author one. My plan is to write books full-time and make Youtube videos full-time too, but those take time.

 

Life after college is way different when you are used to going to school. You now have the option of just working and that is it. It’s also hard to get a job right out of the gate too. In the meantime I’m just applying places and hoping something comes up. The other thing going on is my boyfriend Chris and I are doing gameplay videos together. I play hidden object games, horror, and roleplaying ones. Even a few first-person shooters like Bioshock.

Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCI3Ymy1sVC1SYeRYvalbJWQ

 

Here is the link to my author one: https://www.youtube.com/user/jdsamuels25

 

I have time to do more Youtube videos thanks to school being done, and time to read and review my favorite books. I also sent A Witchy Beginning to readers to see if it really does need to be new adult instead of young adult, and they said it doesn’t need to be changed. I won’t and when I get the feedback I will go over it again. It may actually be closer to publication then I thought. I’ll update my blog more, and let you know the progress of my books. I’ll also tell you the story behind AngelWitch too.

 

Until next time,

 

Wolfdreamer25

How I make time to Write:

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Vampire in retail teaser...
I live at home, and  I’m going to school full time, and I work retail during the weekends. There is a 3 hr gap in between classes, and I use that time to write more. Whenever a class is cancelled like it is today I use that time to write. I always bring my current stories with me wherever I go to work on them in between. I have an Ipad, Smartphone and two laptops. I always keep the latest copy on them and I work on it in between. I have Friday and Saturday off so in between the Southern Women’s show tomorrow and picking up the camera Saturday I will work on my novel. I always have Mondays off so I work on it then as well as filming Youtube videos. I’m working one day this week which really doesn’t bother me. I need the time to write my script for broadcast, and I’m also done with camera work except for my project. Yay! I hated camera work because getting people to be in front of it was a pain, and they kept rejecting it saying they were busy and had to go to class. I’ll also be doing a Youtube video on it for fun since I got it. School is almost over my last day is May 3rd, and my last exam is May 10th. Not too far away…That means I’ll have Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday off to do whatever…Writing will be a priority since I want to take this seriously and I really want it to be my job. I love every aspect of it even the formatting and doing it all by myself. I’ll probably make a better tutorial and film about my experiences self-publishing. I’ll do that this summer. I want to pass on what I know, and it’s really not that bad…I have a desk in my room that I write at and sometimes I do it sitting on my bed. I find the time since I want to write full time which means this summer I need to come up with a plan. I’m weird when it comes to the writing process because I do it by hand with a pen and paper then I type it up. It’s a lot of work so I’m trying to type as I go instead of doing it all at once. I would not change it for the world. It helps me destress and keeps me busy. It’s also a good form of therapy and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I was depressed for a while and lonely getting used to the fact that my boyfriend is away, but after ward I started to get my groove back. I can’t wait to start writing more because of all the plans I have.

Here is my list of works in progress…
AngelWitch is almost done as far as rough draft wise, and I plan on finishing that first. Then Scarlet book 2 is halfway done followed by some of book 3. Still planning out Fur and Fang of Love. Behind the Counter is going to be a collection of stories about my time working in retail, and I’ll have to go through the notebooks for it. Some are at various stages like I’m waiting on a few betas for book 1 in the Scarlet series. I hope to be done with those by the end of this year if I’m lucky. That and I’m going to make a post about audiobooks and where to buy them since I’ll have them out too.

Until next time,

Wolfdreamer25

#NaNoWriMo is over….

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Unfortunately, I didn’t make the goal of getting to 50,000 words by the end of the month. It’s okay though since I was more distracted with school coming to an end and the release of my novel. There is a book blitz going on which is awesome since I’ve never had one before. I’m also on my last week of school which is awesome since it means I get 5 or 6 weeks off of school which means Monday, Tuesday, and Thursdays will be free days. It’s going to be exciting since I can film more videos and make my #Booktube channel take off more. I’ve been bad with that and writing since I really need to do well in school. Once it’s over however it gives me a ton of free time to write. I’m on a roll with #AngelWitch and going to write a story with Midnight Starr which will talk about how she goes to a family reunion and then tries to bust Viper he evil ex-fiancee. It’s her then fiancée and it’s how it unravels and leads to her auditioning for Fur and Fang of Love. I really missed playing in my worlds. It kind of sucks when you let everything distract you from something you love doing. I love to write and I can’t imagine a better career for me. I plan on writing and publishing more too especially when I have more time. I plan on making a video about my book as soon as I get a copy so look for that, and there will be more #Booktube videos as I decide what tags to do and organize my books to do them. I’m definitely going to work on my room over break to organize my books to do videos on my favorite ones. It’s time for me to get my butt in gear when it comes to certain things. I hope I can do it, and that’s all for now.

Until next time,

Wolfdreamer25

Working, and reading Writing books…

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I have been absent from the blog getting school work done, and working full 8 hour shifts which is something I am not used to. I have learned to never give up my dream of wanting to be a full time writer. I am working in retail, and it has its upside and downside, and it is teaching me how to deal with the general public and difficult people.

In between all the working and school work like studying for tests I have almost finished with round one rewrites doing a little when I can. I have a few other main projects I am working on like redoing my young adult novel in third person, and changing things around to make it more unique. I still have the second killer book to do. I am publishing a paperback when the first retail story is done. It will have the first killer story, Obsession Spell, Donnie’s Untimely Demise, and the first chapter of the killer book. I plan on taking the blog more seriously by reviewing writing and indie publishing ebooks like these:

  • Crafting Novels & Short stories From The editors of Writers Digest.
  • Becoming an Indie Author by Zoe Winters
  • 500 More Ways to be a Better Writer by Chuck Wendig
  • How to be a Writer In the E-Age by Catherine Ryan Hyde and Anne R. Allen
  • The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing by Marilyn Ross & Sue Collier
  • The Breakout Novelist by Donald Maass
  • 500 Ways to Tell a Better Story by Chuck Wnedig
  • The 90-Day Novel Unlock the Story Within by Alan Watt
  • The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing by the Editors of Writers Digest
  • Everyday Writing by Midge Raymond
  • The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass
  • Hooked: by Les Edgerton

I have many more books to read, and I plan on reviewing them since I don’t see a blog that reviews them that much. I read ebooks in my spare time, and I will record my thoughts on them.

 

Any good writing books that you have read lately to put on my to be read pile?

 

Until Next time,

 

Wolfdreamer25