Ok, the headline is a little dramatic but at the point I discovered this book, I really thought that the screenplay I was writing would be the end of me. It was 2015 and I was knee deep into writing the sequel to Living in Bondage. I was in a black hole of confusion, themes that didn't make sense, characters that had no depth and I was... stuck. And I realized in that moment, I had bit off more than I could chew, that everyone would find out I was a fraud and I would be jailed for collecting money for a script I never delivered. I ended up googling 'How to Write a Screenplay' and the first book that popped up was Black Snyder's - Save the Cat. In that moment, the cover visual of a cat hanging on for dear life was me and I knew in my spirit, that I had to get the book. I needed saving.
Now, once you read the book, you'll quickly find out that the cat isn't a metaphor for struggling writers but rather a device writers use to create empathy for their characters. Two minutes into a film, a bad guy saves a cat and goes off and does really terrible things for the next 90 mins. But somehow, you like him and still want him to win. Why? Because he saved a cat. Because he's human.
This may not be the best screenwriting book in the world. But it will teach you the basics of writing. Plot, structure, character development etc. Despite finding 'better', more critically acclaimed books over the years - I find myself going back to my beloved cat and in some way, perhaps a way to remind myself of my own humanity.
If you can't find a physical copy, here's a bootleg PDF version I found floating around the internet.
Save the Cat Pdf
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