What are all the Save the Cat books?
If you've spent any time studying how to write novels or screenplays, you've no-doubt heard the term 'save the cat'. This is a term coined by screenwriter Blake Snyder to describe a way of getting the audience to like and identify with a story's character, even if that character isn't the most affable of people. Ususally this means a scene in a book or movie where the character does something heroic or altruistic (such as, you know, save a cat), which will make the audience thing, "Aww, what a great guy!" (And, of course, the examples don't have to be quite that literal!)
Blake Snyder took this concept and write a series of books on writing (primarily for screen, but the series is just as applicable to novel writers, too), which describe high-level story structure and his own brand of Save the Cat! story generes, but also include other story elements (such as saving cats) that can make or break stories.
While they aren't without criticism, our opinion is that they're invaluable books when starting out your writing career (whether as a novellist or screenwriter). "Save the Cat! Writes a Novel" by Jessica Brody is especially recommended. And read on to learn about all the books in the series.
Here is a list of all the books in the Save the Cat series:
- Save the Cat!
- Save the Cat! Goes to the Movies
- Save the Cat! Strikes Back
- Save the Cat! Blake's Blogs
- Save the Cat! Goes to the Indies
- Save the Cat! Writes a Novel
- Save the Cat! Writes a Young Adult Novel
- Save the Cat! Writes for TV
- Save the Cat! Beat Sheet Workbook
Save the Cat: The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need by Blake Snyder
This is Blake Snyder's original book in the series, first published in 2005 and targetted for screewriting, but it still relevant to all writers today. (And also, despite it's name, not the last book he'd write on writing.)
It introduces Blake's 10 Save the Cat genres for stories, as well as his 15 beats of story structure. If you're new to the Save the Cat system, either this book of Save the Cat! Writes a Novel is where you should start.
Once you're comfortable with the basics, you can then apply them with our Save the Cat! beat sheet.
Vampire Nova: A Shattered Galaxies Short Story from WG Arndt
Limited-time 25% discount exclusively for SceneOne blog readers!
Amazon & Goodreads️
Three women with a thirst for vengeance trap an interstellar vampire on a barren moon. Can guts and determination—along with a little celestial mechanics—defeat the ultimate evil, or will the hunters become the vampire's latest victims? Buy the short story now!
Add-coupon code at checkout for 25% off: SCENEONE25
Save the Cat! Goes to the Movies: The Screenwriter's Guide to Every Story Ever Told by Blake Snyder
The sequel to Blake's original book! In it, he takes 50 big studio films and then categorises them into one of the ten STC genres, as well as puts each of them into the Save the Cat beat sheet to demonstrate the process.
Save the Cat! Strikes Back: More Ways to Make Absolutely Sure Your Script is Great by Blake Snyder
This book is more than just "more tips and tricks". It's filled with responces to many common questions Blake received based on his first two books, plus fleshes out certain aspects of it (such as the 5 point finale).
Save the Cat! Blake's Blogs:More Information and Inspiration for Writers by Blake Snyder
During the late 2000s, Blake Snyder kept a blog with over two-hundred articles related to Save the Cat and screenwriting. After his death, these blog posts were collected and edited down into this volume. They expand on topics such as loglines, titles, formulating ideas and story concepts, dialogue, pitching, and more!
Save the Cat! Goes to the Indies: The Screenwriters Guide to 50 Films from the Masters by Salva Rubio
This book is written by Blake's student, Salva Rubio, and is similiar to STC Goes to the Movies in that it breaks down 50 films into the STC beat sheet (5 films for each of the 10 Save the Cat genres) for writers to study. In this volume, the movies studied are non-studio films, and include The Blair Witch Project, Before Sunrise, and even The Full Monty!
It provides even more examples of what you will have learned in each of the earlier books, which will help with context and clarity.
Have you tried AI Writing Assistant?
Write faster and clearer, and destroy writer's block!
It uses your own words for inspiration, and quickly generates new ideas for where your story can go. It even matches your style!
Try it for free with Scene One's trial Sign Up to Scene One
Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody
Save the Cat! Writes a Novel is a book written by novellist Jessica Brody. It takes Blake's screenplay system which already worked for books, but now fully focusses it on written works. In it, Jessica explains each of the 10 Save the Cat genres, as well as the 15-point beat sheet. There are full break-downs and case-studies made of many famous novels, including The Help.
For our money, this is one of the first books any new author should buy when starting to learn their craft. You can even use our Save the Cat! beat sheet manager to work through your own beat sheet and plot out your novels!
Save the Cat! Writes a Young Adult Novel by Jessica Brody
This is the next Save the Cat! book from Jessica and is scheduled for release in 2023! We haven't yet read this volume, but it will have a similar structure to Jessica's previous book, but with a focus on YA. So all of the examples will be from young adult books (such as John Green's The Fault in our Stars and Lois Lowry's The Giver) instead of adult fiction.
Save the Cat! Writes for TV: The Last Book on Creating Binge-Worthy Content You'll Ever Need by Jamie Nash
While this volume takes Blake's system and applies it to TV for the first time, it also has a solid focus on writing a pilot (which is the first episode on a new series, and is often how an entire series is picked up for full production). It goes over writing pitches, including formatting them in an industry-standard way. And it includes beat-sheet examples from recent shows such as Barry and The Mandalorian.
Save the Cat! Beat Sheet Workbook: How Writers Turn Ideas Into Stories TV by Jamie Nash
This brand-new workbook is exactly what it sounds like: a "fill in the blanks" deal, where you're walked through the process of creating your new plot step-by-step in the classic Save the Cat! fashion.