Saving The Cat…Or Trying To…

My writing group have decided to do sessions with Blake Snyder’s Save The Cat book. Yes, i know its for screenwriters, but…there does seem to be some merit in applying Snyder’s rules to other forms of writing. The aim? To hopefully improve our novels, so I’ve decided to start work on a new one for the exercise.


Our first session was to come up with a “Logline” and a title for our piece. Ok, well most of my fellow writers already had stories, and titles. Me? I just had an idea in my head. But, by the end of our first session that idea was more formed and i had a better understanding of what my story is about.

I haven’t done a blurb, a synopsis or a plan. I don’t even know the main characters name…yet…but I’m determined that my Nano novel this year will be planned. I’m so fed up with being a pantster and tying myself up in knots. So I’m hoping that these sessions will get me well on the way to being more organised.

Snyder says you should be able to sum up your story in one or two sentences. If you ask yourself the question “What is it?”

So here is my title and the Logline of the novel i’ll be working on from now on…


A woman’s search for recovery after a stressful divorce turns into a nightmare, as she battles against the late owner of her new home.

Ok, that just about sums it up…but…I’m not happy with the word nightmare. I dunno, is it just me? Does that word work? Does it make you think ghost story? Does it make you think she’ll just have a bad time or do you think the story will actually involve nightmares?

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts 🙂 The next session is genre *shudders* lol


23 thoughts on “Saving The Cat…Or Trying To…

  1. I’ve heard good things about using Save the Cat for novels. I think some things just translate.

    I think the reference to nightmare makes the sentence sound too generic. I like “A woman’s search for recovery after a stressful divorce,” though. That tells me something about the story. And “as she battles against the late owner of her new home,” is very telling. Perhaps you need to restructure the sentence so the word “nightmare” is unneeded.

    Just my 2 cents…


  2. Excellent! I’m doing my latest incarnation of my Gideon story using the screen writing tips

    Sorry kiddo – no – it doesn’t sound like a ghost story Look at the definition of log line again. I can’t help at the moment – still working on the trip. But keep me posted


  3. I don’t think it sounds specifically like a ghost story, it’s left open to interpretation. It would make the readers want more information to see whethe the previous owner of the home was creating a ghostly nightmare or a real life nightmare.
    xxx Huge Hugs Vikki xxx


  4. It’s a good book, even though it is about screenwriting – forces you to be more purposeful about your novel.
    No, it doesn’t sound like a ghost story to me – although ‘late’ owner should have given me a clue – but I was thinking psychological thriller because of the ‘nightmare’ bit.


  5. Sorry again doesn’t make me think ghost story how about something like…A woman’s search for recovery after a stressful divorce is turned upside down as she battles against the late owner of her new home.?


  6. I bought the book last year but have yet to use it! Will be following your journey with interest! If you let me know your e-mail address, I can give you a few more names for other related books! 🙂


  7. I think nightmare means a horrible experience for the divorce. Late owners, makes me think of people who passed on. Good luck. I need to plan for NaNo also. I won’t be in school, so I should be able to get it done.


  8. Call me crazy, but if your character is in a current battle with the late owner of her house, that sounds like a ghost story to me. 🙂 The tagline probably needs work, but I like the ideas it expresses.


  9. How about replacing nightmare with something more descriptive? … turns into a life and death struggle … turns into a confrontation with the supernatural … turns into a (either of the previous examples) that threatens her sanity … Play around with it. Write a page of possibilities separated by ellipses. You’ll probably come up with something much better 🙂


    • Oooooo, yeah, thanks Mel…i like the idea of slipping a word in there that tells you its a ghost story, or at least something that doesn’t involve a court battle lol. Thanks honey xx


  10. Nano? ooh does that mean I can spend the next few months procrastinating…whoops I mean planning my nano novel (instead of actually getting on and writing, of course)?


  11. Pingback: Saving The Cat…Or Trying To…Part 2 | The View Outside

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