“Save the Cat”

On the recommendation of some friends, I gave Save the Cat a whirl. It’s a book about screenwriting written by the late Blake Snyder. I experienced the usual ups and downs while reading it. Mostly downs. “No, I don’t do that and am a talentless hack.” “I must throw out everything I’ve done and start over.” This is why I often don’t read books on writing. Unlike quite a number of other books, though, this one has some homework that I feel might actually continue to teach me about screenwriting. (Assuming I do it, of course.)

This book focuses on writing movies for the big Hollywood studios. Which is something I’m sort of taking a stab at. I feel a lot more prepared now, but I also see more of the flaws in my current story. It basically has two climaxes, for example. Not really a good thing. And I don’t know that I have enough of a logline with enough irony. It’s all complicated and requires much thinking. (Rude, I tell you!)

On the plus side, he gave me permission to watch bad movies in a way nobody ever has before. I don’t know why his permission counts when others haven’t. In the past, I haven’t wanted to waste my time, but with this guide, I feel like I’ll be better able to say not only why a movie was bad, but how it could be improved, which could be a useful skill if I can learn to apply it to my own work.

One thought on ““Save the Cat”

  1. Stephen A. Watkins

    I take the same approach with the books that I read, often asking myself how are they flawed and how could they be improved?

    Every once in a while, though… (very, very rarely for me) a book is so bad that even if it could be improved, even if there was something to be learned by fully immersing myself in it’s badness, the book is just so bad that it has sucked all of the care out of me, and I just don’t care about it. This has only ever happened to me twice, and once I had to read it anyway because it was for school.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *