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Save the Cat: The Last Book On Screenwriting That You’ll Ever Need by Blake Snyder

August 4, 2014

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The tone of the subtitle is not subtle—not much in this book is. It’s about how to write a big Hollywood-friendly screenplay, and the author has figured it out over his many years of working in Hollywood. I’m not a huge fan of the standard Hollywood plot. That said, there’s a lot to like here.

Snyder primarily covers issues of story structure—types of story, a strict outline and method for building the scaffolding of a script, and common issues with scripts. He has a helpful section on the “laws of physics of scripts” and another less-helpful (for me, at least) section on how to navigate Hollywood for the big sell.

I don’t see myself heading to L.A. anytime soon, but the advice here can be applied beyond screenplays—to novels, short stories, maybe even scripts for tv spots. Definitely a good book to have on the shelf. Don’t let the schlocky subtitle turn you off.

Here are my notes from the book, for a more in-depth overview of the material covered.

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