Maryan Pelland's Must Have: Save the Cat Screenwriting Software

Sunday, December 13, 2009
We put a call out to Premium-Green subscribers and asked for their must-have writing products. Maryan wrote in right away and shared a wonderful tool for screenwriters! If you have a screenwriter on your holiday gift list, or are one yourself, this is one product that will surely be a big hit.


Save the Cat Screenwriting Software

By Maryan Pelland

Save the Cat is an indispensable tool for screenwriters of any level. Priced at $89.95 from it's compatible with Mac OS 10.3.9 and higher or Win Vista and XP. The upbeat tutorials teach valuable skills.

There is enough information and teaching here to equal a college course. Work it, baby, and it will work for you--you'll write a screenplay. Snyder's organizing, outlining and visualizing result in a fleshed-out project.

Save the Cat quickly gets you up and running. The program is well structured and easy to follow, using SpiderMan 2 to illustrate concepts. It's a snap to read about Spidey and contemplate your own work.

The board, which Snyder calls, "the fabled device seen in executive offices all over Hollywood," teaches tons about movie pacing and lays your play in front of you before you write a page.

Save the Cat is fun, with movable parts you shuffle and arrange--never risking a paper cut. The software makes you define settings, plotlines, characters, directions, set ups and payoffs. You'll consider emotional changes and character development.

There are definite rules for successful screenwriting. Save the Cat makes you understand and internalize them. If you're stuck trying to get ideas out of your head and into a manuscript, this should shake you loose. If you can't do it with Save the Cat, you might not be ready yet.


Maryan Pelland ( is a working writer specializing in baby boomers, women and writers' issues. Her byline has appeared more than 400 times in major publications in print and online. You can contact her at: maryan[at]ontext[dot]com.


Jayne Martin said...

Wow! Why weren't there cool things like this around when I was a working TV-movie writer? It looks like something I really could have used.

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