Book Review: Save the Cat


A successful screenwriter gives eight chapters of important pointers for writing your screenplay. The book is written from the perspective of marketing your script to a producer from page one.

The Good

Starting with the first chapter, where the reader defines the important “what is it?” about their script, the bulk of the book is designed to help you fix your story before you write FADE IN:

One chapter deals entirely with common screenwriter errors and how to fix them. The final chapter gives some brief pointers on selling your script to Hollywood when you’ve finished writing it.

Very clear and easy to read. Real-world analogies make more abstract concepts simple to grasp. And the last section of the book is a glossary of frequently used Hollywood slang surrounding screenwriting, which is useful for deciphering other materials later.

The Bad

A smattering of language. A few mildly inappropriate examples.

The author also seems to assume that you have viewed every movie he talks about.


Save the Cat is subtitled, “The last book on screenwriting you’ll ever need.” True? Not quite. While the book has certainly helped me to see where my current project could improve, it could have gone more in-depth on a few issues. The author himself mentions several important screenwriting books in the introduction. But for a good look at screenwriting from a marketing perspective, this is a keeper.

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