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ReKon’s Summer Audible Book Club: Sammy’s Pick

Samuel Ashe

July 2, 2016

Book Title: Save the Cat! Strikes Back:More Trouble For Screenwriters To Get Into… and Out

Author: Blake Snyder Narrated By: MacLeod Andrews

Publisher’s Synopsis:

Blake Snyder, author of Save the Cat! and Save the Cat! Goes to the Movies, has delivered the audiobook countless readers and students have clamored for. Inspired by questions from his workshops, lectures, and emails, Blake listened to you and provides new tips, tactics, and techniques to solve your writing problems.

Why did you choose this audio book?

I chose this book because I had read the previous books (Save the Cat! and Save the Cat! Goes to the Movies) both of which helped me get a handle on structuring feature films. I knew there was a third book but I just hadn’t gotten around to it yet.

What main themes does the author explore?

Blake Snyder touches on many different things ranging from structure and formula to the actual business and politics of the film industry through the lens of a screenwriter. The main theme that pops out to me is the fact that he attacks attachment issues head on. As artists we’re no stranger to be very particular about our work and who sees it but Snyder makes it very clear in order for you to succeed in this business you have to be ready to change things even if it’s the beloved name of your protagonist! Once you get over that hurdle it’s not easy but it will help a lot moving forward.

What did you learn?

I learned to progressively build on the original beat sheet (below) as revealed in the first book. You don’t have to have read the previous books to understand the content explained in this audio book; many times main points are reiterated and underlined to further drive to the reader. Additionally, there are supplemental documents that come with this book so that you have a visual accompaniment to your listening experience. It definitely helps to have a diagram or written explanation to map out the outline for your project so you can better plan your way through your feature.


Below you can also see an example of the supplemental materials. This is an in depth diagram called the transformation machine where we see how the protagonist will be changed by each Act.

This isn’t really a formula where one size fits all but it can be applied to virtually any film, cross many genres. It’s interesting to re-watch some of your favorite films and see if the structure fits into the aforementioned beats. Chances are you love the film because the movie is touching each moment appropriately.


How has the book changed or broadened your perspective?

Screenwriting is a very interesting process. Reading (or listening in this case) Snyder’s books it changes the way you watch films. You will be able to point out the beats as the film unravels.

This new perspective also makes it clearer why a film was “good” or “bad”  based on the storytelling itself. You will appreciate films that aren’t the best because you can see where the story was flawed which can inform your writing. There is a lesson to be learned from all storytelling.

Lastly, being that Blake Snyder passed away before this book was published, it reinforces that we should make our work worthy of the legacy we wish to leave behind!

What did you think of Save the Cat! Strikes Back?


Author: Sammy is the Social Media Specialist here at ReKon. He is a recent California Lutheran University grad with an MBA in Marketing. When he’s not engaging our community of ReKoners worldwide, he’s a media producer and songwriter.

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