Tag Archives: editing

Making Save the Cat work for you

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Last week I chatted to the fabulous Laura Perry on the Witch Lit Podcast https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvwGxF6lQWA and afterwards, we started talking about Save the Cat! We discovered we both felt the same way about how we could get the most from the book.

You can read about my struggles with it here https://wendysteele.com/2019/03/05/how-much-did-my-cat-really-need-saving/

Since then, I, and it seems Laura, came to the conclusion that the book works on two levels; the large picture and the minutae. Reading the options for the different type of novels, there were times when not all fifteen beats were required, and we both came to the decision that writing three acts with various hingeing points for the plot worked well, allowing the story to flow, but that trying to fit our stories into the beats wasn’t the way to go.

Laura has finished the first draft of her Minoan Historical novel this week using this less stringent idea, picking out the beats that were right for her story, and my fifth Witch Lit novel, The Able Witch is half written using the same method.

If you’ve purchased Save the Cat! and are finding writing from it hard going, maybe it’s not for you. From a screen play perspective, where the original idea came from, I can see how it can work, but selecting beats that work for your story could work better.

When it comes to editing, Save the Cat! can be referenced again, as I did with The Eloquent Witch having bought the book after I’d written the novel.

Hope that helps.

If you’re looking for a magical series to start today, here’s the link to The Naked Witch, the first book in the Lizzie Martin series https://www.amazon.co.uk/Naked-Witch-Wendy-Novel-Book-ebook/dp/B06W5D6GVV/ref

https://www.amazon.com/Naked-Witch-Wendy-Novel-Book-ebook/dp/B06W5D6GVV/ref

For Laura Perry’s books and Minoan Tarot deck https://www.amazon.com/Laura-Perry/e/B001K8LSQ6?ref

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Laura-Perry/e/B001K8LSQ6?ref

 

 

 

 

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Are you ready to Save the Cat!?

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I belong to a fabulous group on Facebook called Witch Lit, for readers and magical creators, who enjoy poetry, songs, short stories, novels, in fact all things magical. I was recommended this book by Laura Perry, one of the other admins on the group, which arrived two weeks ago and hasn’t left my side for more than twenty four hours! Here’s my review and then you’ll know why…

The best ever self help book about writing a novel!”

‘Save the cat! Writes a Novel’ is the best self help book about writing I’ve ever read. As soon as you begin to read, there’s a feeling of excitement as this tried and trusted recipe for successful novel writing is explained by Jessica Brody. Originally an idea by the late Blake Snyder, a Hollywood screenwriter, Jessica, one of his pupils who had used and succeeded with the original method, has created a concise, straight forward, easy to use guide to creating a great novel.

With very little pre-amble, the book dives straight in, asking you questions about your book idea or the WIP you’ve started (or completed.) One of the beauties of this book is that it suits plotters or pantsers. If you want to organise and plot with precision, you can use this book from the word go, or if, like me, you’d already written the book, but wanted it to be the best it could be (or wanted to see how close to the perfect book you’ve managed to get yourself), then you can use it at this point to.

Having already studied another novel writing book, I managed to get the majority of the points mentioned in the book, but not necessarily in the right order or to the degree I needed to press the points home. With my newly fashioned ‘Beat Sheet’, I’m working my way through my book, crafting and sculpting to make it flow better and keep the reader hooked with every turn of the page.

This book will not write your story for you. You need a good story to start with, but be assured, if you follow this ‘Beat Sheet’, you’ll have the best possible structure for your book.

The book guides the writer through Beat Sheets and Story Genres, and you think ‘Wow, this is so simple when you read it like this.’ While you’re basking in the sunshine of knowing you’re onto a winner, Ms Brody gives you more! ‘Pitch it to me!’ gives you all the info you need to create fabulous, unforgettable loglines and concise, exciting synopses. …And then there’s even more! ‘Save the Author!’ is all of her FAQs, beautifully answered to give you the most detailed yet manageable ‘big picture’ you’ll ever need.

I paid £11.99 for the paperback of this book, and in only two weeks, I’ve more than had my money’s worth. I recommend anyone writing their first novel to read this book…in fact, every story teller should read it!

You can purchase Save the Cat! here…

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Save-Cat-Writes-Novel-Writing/dp/0399579745/ref

https://www.amazon.com/Save-Cat-Writes-Novel-Writing/dp/0399579745/ref

If you’re interested in magical reading or writing, come and join our Witch Lit group for books and more https://www.facebook.com/groups/1055104057875422/

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