Save the Cat!® Novel Writing Workshop

Walk in with an idea...walk out with a story!

Learn how the Save the Cat! “Beat Sheet”, originally created for screenplays, can be applied successfully to fiction. Join Jessica Brody, who has sold 9 novels using the beat sheet, in this intensive 2-day workshop.

The “Beat Sheet” is a list of 15 plot points that every well-told story hits, regardless of genre.  The formula has been applied to just about every major motion picture, from Napoleon Dynamite to The Matrix. And the book it came from, Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need, is now required reading for Hollywood screenwriters and executives.

And as you may have guessed, the formula not only works for screenplays – it can be applied to novels with ease. Just ask the numerous bestselling authors who use the beat sheet to outline their novels, including Alyson Noël, Nina Bruhns, Kristan Higgins, Marilyn Brandt, and Kieran Kramer.

Walk in to the workshop on Saturday morning with an idea for a novel, and leave on Sunday evening with the 15 key beats that will serve as its foundation. Because the class is limited to 8 writers, you will experience personalized interactive training each step of the way.

Over the course of a weekend, you will:

  • Learn the difference between a pitch and a logline, and why you must nail each one before approaching agents or publishers with your novel
  • Lock down your logline to give your story a “straight spine”
  • Learn the 15 key beats found in any story to make yours resonate with what is “primal”
  • Crack the “Magical Midpoint” — the secret of every story’s power
  • Find out why the Opening Image and the Final Image are your way to “doublecheck the math” of a hero’s transformation
  • Practice your pitch and improve your technique in front of a friendly group of fellow writers eager to help you succeed
  • Network with other writers and get the opportunity to continue working at free Cat! writing groups, as well as be considered for the invitation-only Master Class

The Workshop

Day One

  • Find your story according to Blake’s four elements of every successful logline
  • Crack your story and your hero’s transformation with the Opening Image, Midpoint, and Final Image

Day Two

  • “Beat out” the remaining beats of your story using the Blake Snyder Beat Sheet (the BS2)
  • Pitch your story to the class using the 15 key beats every successful novel must have

Here’s what a few of our students had to say about the class:

“This workshop was exactly what I hoped it would be–it solved some huge writerly issues and provided hands-on work in the Save The Cat process with concrete feedback. I feel as if I’ve been given super powers. Above and beyond, Jessica is a superb teacher. She was gracious, taught clearly and with humor, built the team, and generously responded to specific manuscript questions. I’m heartily recommending the workshop to colleagues.” - Michelle Knowlden, co-author of Unstrung with Neil Shusterman (Simon and Schuster)

“Jessica, thank you for an unbelievably enlightening workshop. You had such incredible ideas, patience, and advice. I learned so much and am so excited to write!” - Meredith Glickman

“The workshop was terrific and I’m once again enthusiastic about my novel and now I have tools to get it done!” - Debra Young



Enrollment includes a copy of Jessica’s THE KARMA CLUB and a $20 discount on Blake’s Story Structure Software.


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