Recovering The SelfA Journal of Hope and Healing


Save the Cat Writes a Novel

The subtitle of Save the Cat Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody, claims to be “The Last Book on Novel Writing You’ll Ever Need.” The author could be right. This book not only has detailed, specific techniques for writers, but also universal appeal for readers as it addresses storytelling from a unique and humanitarian focus.

The premise for the book title is that even if you have a hero who is essentially a jerk, he can become likable by the act of saving a cat, a dog, or some selfless act that will entice readers to care about him and keep reading. After all, this is the goal of any story, to be interested enough to keep reading.

Save the Cat Writes a Novel is based on the model of an action screenplay book, Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder, which has been adapted specifically for novel use. Jessica Brody has tested her claims against numerous bestselling novels and in workshops, which she has taught herself. In addition to analyzing numerous novels against the 15 point beat sheet, which she discusses at length, Jessica Brody analyzes one of her own books, The Geography of Lost Things (Simon Pulse Hardcover, 2018), a young adult novel.

Jessica Brody provides a detailed breakdown of the 15 point beat sheet devised by Blake Snyder, which she adapts specifically for writers. Then she discusses categories of types of novels from a universal storytelling point of view. These are not the subject areas we think of as genres but more broad types of stories that specific genres will fall into.

About the Author

Marlene Mesot writes contemporary Christian mystery, suspense, romance, short stories and poetry. She has also written a one act play which is included as bonus material in her novel The Purging Fire.

Marlene Mesot, an only child, grandchild and niece from Manchester New Hampshire, and deceased husband Albert, have two sons, two grandchildren and English Mastiff dogs. She is legally blind and moderately deaf due to nerve damage at premature birth. She has loved writing since early childhood.

Marlene holds a Bachelor of Education degree from Keene State in Keene, New Hampshire and a Masters in Library and Information Studies from U-NC Greensboro, North Carolina. Visit her website

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One thought on “Save the Cat Writes a Novel”

  1. Marlene, this is a well-written review. I hope you’ll share more such pieces with us in the future.

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