As many of you know I'm currently working on a few pieces of writing that I've found really hard to move forward through the COVID-19 pandemic.
I started well in March with my own Nanowrimo of sorts managing to write several thousand words in just a few days. Unfortunately, that story was set in a post-apocalyptic version of London, and I don't know about you but I didn't feel as though I needed to experience a surreal life and death event in both my day-to-day living and my fiction work, so I stopped writing.
Getting through pandemic writer's block
Occasionally I would still get pangs of wanting to write though, especially since I had uncorked the creativity earlier in the month. Fortunately, a solution fell into my lap when I was given the chance to try the Save The Cat! Writes a Novel software.
Many of you who are writers will be well aware of the famous Save the Cat! Writes a Novel book by Jessica Brody. Save the Cat! provides writers with the resources they need to develop their screenplays and novels based on a series of best-selling books, primarily written by Blake Snyder (1957- 2009). Blake's method is based on 10 distinctive genres and his 15 story beats (the Blake Snyder Beat Sheet). Their books, workshops, story structure software, apps, and story coaching teach you everything you need to unlock the fundamentals and mechanics of plot and character transformation. You can find out more about Save the Cat! by visiting their website www.savethecat.com.
The Save the Cat Structure Software
Save the Cat! Story Structure Software is adapted from the Save the Cat! methodology to help screenwriters and novelists unlock the fundamentals of plot and character transformation. The Story Structure Software is a virtual writer board with digital index cards to help map out your story against the 15 beats or plot points to your story. The software enables writers to track emotional shifts of characters from scene to scene, develop profiles and edit and version your story with ease.
I had not got round to reading the book at the time of receiving the software, but I have since and loved how Jessica guides writers through understanding story-structure and reveals the 15 essential plot points needed to make any novel a success.
How I used the Save the Cat! software
The software allows the user to define the various elements which the book identifies as integral to the success of the story. It goes on to demystify each beat, making it simple to learn the complexities of storytelling. As I had been pantsing my previously mentioned dystopian novel I was not used to this way of working, at first I worried that the structure would stymie my creative flow - however to my delight I found it to be quite the opposite. Working through the various sections of the software and them all being organised into a logical timeline encouraged me to keep going with my plotting. So much so that I was able to completely plot out my next novel in one sitting.
It was a wonderful feeling and I can't wait to get back to this particular piece of work. My characters are well defined, my plot is completely devised and I know what needs to be in each part of the book. For someone who would have identified as a lifelong pantser, I have to say that I am converted. If you're struggling with the idea of sitting down to work out your story and need some extra support as I did (and will continue to) then I highly recommend heading over to the Save the Cat! website to learn more.
You can purchase a subscription to the Save the Cat! Structure Software at Save the Cat's website.
About Save the Cat! Writes a Novel
An Amazon #1 best seller with over 500 reviews, it's the first novel-writing guide from the best-selling Save the Cat! story-structure series, reveals the 15 essential plot points needed to make any novel a success.
In this revolutionary novel-writing guide from the best-selling Save the Cat! series, novelist Jessica Brody demystifies each beat, making it simple to learn the complexities of storytelling. The best-seller also reveals the ten universal story genres to help you drill down into what makes your type of story work. Featuring sample "beat sheets" for hits from the likes of J. K. Rowling, Khaled Hosseini, and Stephen King, this practical guide also includes real-world advice on pitching your novel, plus the quirky, original insights (like the eponymous tip to "Save the Cat") that make this series unique. By the end of this book, your own imaginative beats will combine to create a story that thrills readers from start to finish.
Print Length: 320 Pages
Genre: Writing References
Publisher: Ten Speed Press/Random House Publishing LLC
Save the Cat! Writes the Novel is available as a print and e-book at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.
About the Author, Jessica Brody
Jessica Brody worked for MGM Studios as manager of acquisitions and business development before becoming an internationally best-selling author of more than fifteen novels for adults and teens including The Geography of Lost Things, The Chaos of Standing Still, A Week of Mondays, and Better You Than Me. She travels the country teaching Save the Cat! workshops to novelists.