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!

Leaving Retail for Good!

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So I am happy at this point since this Saturday is my last day in retail, and then Monday I start a new job non-retail related. After 8 years in retail it was time to move on. After 5 books including Mina’s Tales I am fully done with the subject. However, it means I can use this blog to talk about other subjects like book reading, tv shows, and movies. I will now get a regular schedule with weekends off, and I will finally be able to publish more since I will have the money for it. I failed Nanowrimo due to depression, and that is a subject I have been dealing with a lot since a lot of my time has been spend watching countless YouTube videos. I did start on a few new projects, and one of them is about a girl who is out of a shitty relationship and ends up coming in contact with a crazy fan. It will be interesting to write that, and the next Scarlet book feels like a reverse harem thing only with two guys so I will see how that goes!

Once I have more information for the next books I will let you know!

Jessica

Writing Updates!

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Happy October by the way, and it’s my favorite month since I turn 28 this week. It’s hard to believe I’m that old at times. I graduated college in December, and got a full time job it’s retail though. Still something and it can take time for my books to take off and even find a better career. I hope to release the first Scarlet book by the end of the month, and it’s close to being done. Just need to put some details in, and in doing so book 2 has to be reworked. The Killer Contract Agency is introduced in book 1 now, and stuff will be explained more in book 2. I also have more plans for other series in the works, and I want to write books for the rest of my life. I have finally came closer to finishing then I have in a while, and I hope to publish more books. Besides books I also play video games and record gameplay for them too. I love video games. I play role playing games, horror, simulation, and even hidden object ones.

I created a Discord account, Twitch, Mixer, and I’m trying to publish more MRE videos on my Author channel. Here are all the links:
Twitter: @jdsamuels25
Facebook Fan Page:https://www.facebook.com/authorjessicasamuels
The Facebook Group to discuss my books and ask me questions about them: on.fb.me/1QgNlWc
My Youtube channel:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn2LUoqPcFHmkV3pQFVFFDQ
My game channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCI3Ymy1sVC1SYeRYvalbJWQ
Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/wolfdreamer25
Mixer: https://mixer.com/Wolfdreamer25
Discord: Wolfdreamer25#0802

What to Blog About When You’re a Fiction Author…

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bookBlogging is fun and so is article writing. It’s easy for me to write about anything even stuff that I’ve never researched till now. I have read dozens of posts and blogs where people are just starting out and they are fiction writers. Some ask what do I write about? Do I write about writing a book or writing in general? Well you can, but it’s so crowded nowadays that you have to think outside the box. I can write a whole blog post about awesome writers who write about writing. I don’t see many fiction writers writing about other topics, and it’s sad so here is my suggestion.
Write about your characters…
Write about your vampires, werewolves, and witches…
Do character interviews.
Include story maps.
Write quizzes for readers to take.
Start blogging a book and giving away free stories.
There are tons of stuff to write about for fiction writers.
Write about your story world, and how it works.
Put up a few posts about character backstories.
There is a ton of stuff to blog about, and you can even put a few excerpts of your books.
Also put up some posts about your work in progress, and even post a picture of you working at your desk…
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That’s my cat Callie at mine.
Writing is fun especially blogging since it gives readers a chance to see your work for fiction.

I hope you enjoyed this post since there are many more to come especially when my school is over for the summer.

Until next time,

Life Updates….

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I haven’t been blogging much lately, and the reason is because of school and work. With less then five weeks to go I’m gearing up for my projects with journalism. Only two more television projects to get through, and three articles to revise. Not to mention plan my layout for my Graphics for Journalism class. It’s a lot of work, and not for someone who is into instant gratification. The problem is mainly getting in touch with the people you need. Sometimes they can be friendly, and answer right away other times they ignore you or be incredibly rude. It’s a trial by fire for sure. When you have the camera none of the students seem like they want to talk at all. I plan to get a parking pass next semester and a smart tag to drive myself since my mom works there I ride in with her. I signed up for three this semester and three the next. It’s coming to a close so fast I definitely have to look for an internship and set it up Spring 2017. My boyfriend is also deployed for a year which sucks, but at least school and writing will keep me busy. I’m just counting down the days, but I’m also nervous since it means looking for a job in my field. Or if I write and publish more then I can just write full time. It’s going to be a change since I’ll have to move out, and get my own place. I’ll take over my car payments and pay my own bills. It also means that I’ll get a smart tag and a parking pass to take myself to school since I go to school mon-thursday. I’ve been in school way too long, and it will be 5 years in October working at a retail job. I definitely need a change. I want the ability to act like a grown up and plan things out. I’ll be able to blog more and film more Youtube videos. I’m also now in an issue of The Commonwealth Times. It was a long road to get that article done, but it reminds me that hard work pays off in the end.

Until next time,
Wolfdreamer25

Changes to the Blog

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I’ve had this idea for a while now, and I have also asked other writers if they have had any experience with it too. They have and I plan on publishing a few of my novels on my blog. I think it would be a fun thing to do since the story can work like that. I have already decided that the stories I’m going to use are :#Furandfangoflove and #NightwatchSupernaturalStore. I will label which one is which, and try to publish them once a week labeling which part or chapter it is. I hope it will draw new readers, and that it will be a successful series. If I like it I may write more novels this way. A lot of writers are doing this, and experimenting with it so I figured why not. It seems like a fun thing to try anyway. It will help me keep to writing more too. It’s been a wild ride writing novels too. I think these projects will be fun to use to experiment with blogging a book. One of the stories has a lot of possibilities to it. The other is something that I hope people will tune into every week so they can see what will happen to the characters. I enjoy writing, and I write for the entertainment factor versus the money. It will introduce different characters story lines from the Luxor realm. It will make the world of Luxor more full, and it will be just like ours. I hope you enjoy the story just like I will enjoy writing it and working on it a little at a time.

Until next time,

Wolfdreamer25

Big News About #TheKillerContractAgency

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I have told Twitter and Facebook about this, and now I get to blog about it. I signed my first ever publishing contract with Write More Publications for #TheKillerContractAgency. It’s been a wold ride with that book since I pulled it off Amazon in 2011. I redid the whole thing, and I made it first person instead of third. I did fewer victims to make it a better story. I made them aliens instead of humans to give them a super hero vibe instead of a killing people for fun one. It’s been a crazy journey. I gave it to Liz McKeown to edit it so I can republish it, and when she finished editing it she recommended me to Theresa Oliver who is the owner of Write More Publications. She loved the story so much, and praised it to her. I sent her an email after that, and because of how hard I worked on the story it got the notice of a publisher. It means they are taking most of the work off my shoulders, and after doing it for so long I read over the contract which is better then a traditional deal. I jumped at it, and now time for the cover art, formatting, and I’ll let you know when the release date is. This will be my first time working with one, and it’s exciting too. I will also be blogging a few books because of the format, and the style. I write for the story and the characters mainly. I hope to do this full time since I love writing and reading. I never gave up on the story, and that’s they key to this writing business. It’s a good feeling that my hard work paid off. It makes writing worth while, and it will be in paperback which is awesome because it’s my first one.
That is all for now.
Until next time,
Wolfdreamer25

Novel Writing is a long process…

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I’ve heard it so many times after someone finds out that I write that they can write a book too. They say they have ideas, but very few actually finish writing them out on paper. I’m one of the few that can actually finish one, and it’s a long process.It all starts off with an idea. An idea so good that it has your entire attention. One that makes the characters scream at you to write it. Next comes the character creation, and taking notes about the characters in your story.Then the actual story planning will take place, and planning where the story will go and take shape. The real magic of writing a novel is the actual process since you might end up chucking the outline and just writing. You never know what will happen during the process. That’s also the hard part since doubts and fears begin to creep in. Some spend a day just getting a sentences right others can zip through it no problem. Chapter upon chapter is written on a good day, and on a bad day just a sentence or maybe none. If that happens then just do a writing exercise or two and plan more out. Then once you are done with the story the time comes to revise it and cut down sentences. Then you give it to a beta reader once you edit it a few times. Revise a few more times depending on their suggestions, and then an editor once it’s almost ready to be published. Then get the cover to put on and it’s done. After that comes the drink since you had the guts to put your work out there. That’s how a novel is written it can be longer or shorter depending on the story and how much work it needs. Then celebrate after the entire process is done since you are crazy enough to write a book and finish it. Most people give up since it’s too hard, they don’t have enough time, or they don’t have the drive to finish. Not you since you’re one of the people crazy enough to finish a master piece from start to finish just like me.

Until next time,
Wolfdreamer25

Drama and novels

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It’s been weeks since I’ve blogged because I’ve had a few things throw me off besides the usual school and work stuff. I’ve been back in school, and I dropped my Fashion Writing class because I only want the classes required for my degree and it was two very different writing styles. I made the right decision since I’m learning so much about journalism. It’s harder then I thought, but I like challenges. I have a Disney trip coming up in March and there will be pictures and a blog post about it. I finished the first Scarlet book, and its only a rough draft. I’m halfway through the second and a few pages into the third. I’m waiting for the last beta reader to get done with The Killer Contract Agency rewrite. It been a long journey, but I hope to just say screw it and write it all out since that is what rewriting and beta readers are for. I even threw around some pieces of the second retail novel too. The reason why I have worked harder on the novels is because someone tried to rattle me again. Someone from my past can’t let go of me, and tried to rock the boat. I ignored it because I don’t have time to play games like these anymore. I’m getting to the point where drama is just a waste of time. I’ve moved on with someone else, and he is going to be moving in come April. I have to get to work on the house, and get it ready in between school work and writing. I love the fact that I work and go to school part time. It’s easier and just for this semester. I never realized how much drama can ruin your day till now, and it’s stupid since all it does is throw you off. I do plan on upping the writing word count more, and the more ebooks I publish the more I have a shot at writing full time. I want that to be one of my long term goals. I’ll also publish more on the blog, and even put up excerpts and maybe even playlists.

Until next time,

Wolfdreamer25

True Friends…

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I forgot how freeing it is just to work, and write on my days off. I love summer since it means a break from the stress of school. It is usually filled with friends too since I have time to have a life. I always have to remember who my real friends are, and they are the ones who support you when the time is rough. They don’t stop being your friend even when you act like an emotional wreck. They make time out of their days to see you, and don’t hold you back. They like who you are and don’t want you to change. You never really know who is on your side until you go through a break-up, death, or a situation that destroys you so completely that you need to rely on them in order to build yourself up. You find out the people who are just pretending to be your friends to which hurts even more since they were supposed to be your friends. I know I lost certain people, but if they were my friends, they would have looked at it like she is hurting emotionally, and to not kick her when she is down. They were holding me back anyway, and I’m better off without them. I know I’m going places, and this situation proves I can handle anything. I’m writing more, and hopefully I can get everything published by the end of the summer. All this free time is awesome! I am grateful for the people who understand what I’m going through, and the ones who don’t attack me because of it. You never really know who your true friends are till your tested. True friends don’t mention the thing you’re trying to forget when it is their fault anyway. Friends don’t insult your family, and they certainly don’t imply you call them names for no reason. I love this freedom from them, and I would not have it any other way. True friends don’t hold you back or change you.

Until next time,

Wolfdreamer25