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First Draft: 14 Screenwriting Books Every Screenwriter Should Read

First Draft: 14 Screenwriting Books Every Screenwriter Should Read

First Draft

Save the Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting That You’ll Ever Need (Blake Snyder)

Blake Snyder was a celebrated moneymaker screenwriter during the boom of the 1990s, selling many spec screenplays—some of which were made, including Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot and Blank Check. In 2005, he wrote this book with the title originating from one of his doctrine concepts: “The ‘Save the Cat’ scene is where we meet the hero and the hero does something—like saving a cat—that defines who he is and makes us, the audience, like him.”

The book is perhaps most famous because it claims to offer a specific formula to success, in the form of Blake Snyder’s beat sheet, which details a formula of fifteen story and character moments and the pages that they need to be on.

While it’s clear that there is no one secret formula to a successful screenplay, the book manages to give screenwriters an excellent overview of possible beats that could be explored in certain areas of a screenplay.

While the book has since become a polarizing educational tool for screenwriting—with some thinking it’s hogwash while others swear to its credence—it truly is one of those must-read books as food for the brain.

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