Save the Cat Writes a Novel Book review

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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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How to Procrastinate instead of writing a novel!

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Novel writing is not easy by any means, and with self-publishing just about anyone can become a writer. Works can be published without any effort which isn’t good for people who actually can write a novel. It’s hard to write since it mainly requires butt to chair action, and sometimes more brain power then you have the energy for especially if you go to school, or work a day job. Good work takes time and even other people to look over it. That is another story though, and I will write a post about the entire process and how I write them. In the meantime here is how not to write a novel. Or maybe it should read doing everything but writing a novel!

  • Check email: You never know if a very important email from an editor or beta reader has come in. Just check every 5 seconds and keep hitting the refresh key constantly.
  • Check Twitter and updates status to: Writing a novel but in the mean time researching shirtless models for the next cover.
  • Eat after all you’re brain cannot work without something powering it.
  • Yell at your smartphone since a wrong number has called for the 1,000 time for someone who has a claim on them. It’s a recording too bad they cannot hear you…
  • Watch time tick by every minute while you’re waiting for calls from family or friends.
  • Check blogs after all how the hell do other writers write novels when you can’t even sit for an hour….
  • Get another cup of coffee, wine, whisky, liquor, vodka, or energy drink to get the blood flowing or to relax you need it after trying to focus on a sentence for an hour.
  • Hit head against the wall to loosen the ideas from your brain.
  • Shower maybe it will help you figure out this next sentence…
  • Check Facebook yet again to see what fun things your friends are up to, and things to use in stories…
  • Stare at the computer screen until inspiration strikes…
  • Smoke a cigarette if you do as a way of taking a break.
  • Walk the dog maybe the neighborhood can give you more ideas…
  • While walking the dog you spot a house, and spend the rest of the time wondering if they keep bodies in the basement.
  • Get one of the emails you’ve been waiting for and dance around when it says not bad just needs work. Yay! You’re not a failure.
  • Delete old files off your phone, PC, and tablet since it is a new semester and year after all.
  • Watch Youtube lets plays because video games are awesome, and who knows another story idea might pop up at any minute…

Okay, there are a lot of ways to procrastinate and not work on writing your novel. In the end the writers who stop procrastinating, and are determined to finish the novel of their dreams will learn how rewarding it is to finish something despite all the distractions stopping them.

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 

Writer Fuel and poetry…

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I am not just talking about soda and energy drinks either, but I do drink those like Mountain Dew Voltage, White out, Code Red, and Dark Berry, even Mello Yello. I love to drink those when I am writing to stay awake.

I am talking about life experiences to use as well too. I know I use my experiences in my stories, and use them to fuel my writing. The experiences I have gone through made me who I am, and without those I would not have much to go on either. Writers use everything around them as fuel to write like what they see and hear. Situations they have been through they use it all. Thanks to bullies I know how to craft a mean petty high school drama situation, and thanks to horrible relationships and enemies I can use it to my advantage. Artists can do it too, and it is not just writes that can use their everyday experiences to fuel their passion. That is the good thing about writing too. Have workplace drama? Fuel. Had a nasty break up with an abusive person like a friend or lover? Fuel.  The situations you have been in, and the things you have heard? Fuel. Anything can be used to create, and nothing is off limits ever since the next situation you land in can be a good story to tell later.

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I am enjoying my poetry class too, and I have a journal for it I used to do poetry every day, but I don’t do it as much anymore. That will change considering this poetry class is opening my eyes to how beautiful it is now. I am learning more in depth about poetry more then I used to. In the spirit of poetry I will put up a few of my poems from then and now.

Then:

True Love

What you lost is gained

What you gained is lost

You call him a lot

Even if you get caught

You want to know him

You want to see him

You like him

You love talking to him

He is a great guy

Perfect for you

Unique in everyway

Youd never turn him down

Not a bad bone to be found

When he holds you

You feel safe and sound

He has a nice voice

So calm and understanding

You would never hurt him in any way

You want to stay with him

And be with him

Day after day

He is cool

He is funny

He is just really true love to you

Mysterious Guy

There will always be one guy you look at across the hall

One guy you stare at from afar

One guy you secretly want to date, but can’t because it seems like he is always taken

And yet you both stare at each other across the hall

And you get so nervous you shake

And your heart beats fast

You hold off talking to him because you get nervous

And you don’t want him to think bad things about you because if he did you would be depressed

He is always going to be there

He will always be there for you to wonder

You don’t know much about him

You want to know him

Who knows?

You just might be friends, or best friends, or you just might finally get him

There will always be a guy like him around

One you will wonder about, and one you can look at but never touch.

Now:

Loneliness : a girl in an empty house with no one home, and friends are on vacation, family not there with no laptop, cellphone, or television. No car, and has not seen friends in a while. Her boyfriend is no longer in the picture thanks to her friends, and it is an awful time to be her.

Love:  There is a couple together at the movie theater holding hands, and they have been together for three years. Through the ups and downs whether they are arguing or laughing they have been there for each other through it all.

Boredom: Sitting on the couch, flipping through channels, nothing good really on, and no friends to hang out with since they are away. Parents are gone on vacation, and I am the only one home with nothing to do chores are done, and everything is clean.

That is all for now, and I am currently learning about making good characters too in novel writing class. I love it because it is giving me the tools I need to succeed as a writer.

Until next time,

Wolfdreamer25