Save the Cat Writes a Young Adult Novel (Book Review)

Written by Michelle Watson

April 16, 2024

You’ll love it if
you want a beat-by-beat guide to writing a YA novel (or not)

This book review contains affiliate links. Here’s my disclosure policy.

Save the Cat! Writes a Young Adult Novel

By Jessica Brody

Writing Craft
Moral Value

Why read this if you’re not a novelist?

It’s a fair question.

I’m not writing fiction, but writing craft books have been catnip for me lately. WHY?

I love the ideas and frameworks that authors use to write fiction. It’s so interesting to me. I enjoy seeing how (and if) well-done books align with these (now iconic) story beats, and how they fall into one or more of the 10 thematic categories that she identifies.

I understand why some people strongly dislike “formulaic” books like these. I’m not a huge fan of big promises like “follow these steps and write a bestseller,” but I’m not wholly unconvinced that this beat sheet isn’t useful to writers, especially new writers. It sure is interesting, I’ll give it that.

Because I’m not an author, I feel serenely removed from this debate, watching from afar on my reader’s couch.

Why did I choose the YA version instead of the original? Because it’s newer, and I wanted to see if Brody revised any of her earlier advice. I don’t think there are any major differences.


More along these lines…


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *