My bookshelf of books notebook is filled with writings from Jessica Brody’s writing book. Save the Cat! is bursting with writing information that I’ve never heard before. Brody presents the information about writing a novel in a clear captivating writing voice. She isolates and defines the parts of a story and then applies these beats to popular novels. While informative, this book is also just fun to read.

Sometimes, when I read writing books or take writing classes, I get the petty and insecure impression that the writer telling me about writing doesn’t really want me to become a successful writer, that he’s holding back his secrets to success. However, Jessica Brody’s book bubbles over with enthusiasm about writing and writing well. Her confidence in her reader being a writer is beautifully refreshing.

From the opening image, to the catalyst, to the finale, Brody’s book intricately unfolds the secrets of storytelling. Thank you, Brody, for giving me a template for my novel. Thank you for writing with such excitement. Thank you for being thorough; I love thoroughness. And lastly, thank you for writing the generous phrase: “Don’t be afraid to write crap. Crap makes great fertilizer” (294). Because I write crap all the time.