Posted by: Kathy Temean | July 28, 2013

Excellent Resource – The Blake Snyder Beat Sheet

save the catWe haven’t talked lately about Blake Snyder’s excellent book, Save the Cat, so I thought I would share Snyder’s beat sheet with you today. Blake makes this available for gratis on his website. It is a page you can use to layout your story or check how your finished manuscript unfolds.

Of course it is for a 110 page movie script, but still can help you to see how your important plot points in the story arc of your novel lays out. You might just notice places where you can improve your story arc.



1. Opening Image (1): Establish setting, introduce hero

2. Theme Stated (5): What question does the story ask?

3. Set-Up (1-10): Introduce all A Story characters and the “before” world of the hero

4. Catalyst (12): Introduce the problem the hero faces

5. Debate (12-25): The hero doesn’t immediately solve the problem. Rising action

6. Break into Two (25): Shift to middle section.

7. B Story (30): Introduce B story characters

8. Fun and Games (30-55): Wacky hijinks, love story, car chases, etc. Scenes for the trailer.

9. Midpoint (55): Something happens to get the A story momentum going again

10. Bad Guys Close In (55-75): Everything that can go wrong will go wrong

11. All Is Lost (75): It’s over, the hero is never going to make it

12. Dark Night of the Soul (75-85): The hero mopes

13. Break into Three (85): The hero is revived, finds courage or hope or whatever, new day.

14. Finale (85-110): The hero rescues the girl, finds the treasure, saves the day, etc.

15. Final Image (110): Reverse of opening image that demonstrates the hero’s change.


Save the Cat is available in as an ebook or paperback book. It is one of the writing reference books sitting on my bookshelf. Check it out.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. This is great, Kathy 🙂 Thanks! He actually has a bunch of tools on his site:


  2. This is great. Thanks!


    • Tracey,

      Thanks for the comment. What are you working on now?



  3. Thanks for posting this, Kathy. I had never been to Snyder’s site, but there is some good stuff there.


  4. I just finished reading Save the Cat–great resource.


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