Saturday, September 29

Save The Cat! The Importance Of Sympathetic Heroes

Save The Cat! The Importance Of Sympathetic Heroes

I love Blake Snyder's book Save The Cat so I was delighted to read Elizabeth Craig's blog article on the subject. When I first came across the book I wondered about the title. It seemed like an odd choice for a book on screenwriting. Here's how Wikipedia describes it:
The title Save the Cat! is a term coined by Snyder and describes the scene where the audience meets the hero of a movie for the first time. The hero does something nice—e.g. saving a cat—that makes the audience like the hero and root for him. According to Snyder, it is a simple scene that helps the audience invest themselves in the character and the story, but is often lacking in many of today's movies. (Wikipedia, Blake Snyder)
Elizabeth Craig writes:
Snyder said that it was incredibly important for your audience (he, naturally, means filmgoers, but it works for readers) to like or at least pull for your protagonist. He casually mentions the importance of making your protagonist do something likeable in one of the first scenes of your film/novel.

This sounds incredibly simple (and is incredibly simple), but I’d never thought of it in such a concrete or deliberate way before.
.  .  .  .
But you want readers to at least pull for your character. You don’t want them to give up on your book. So, Snyder’s advice is to throw in a scene that displays the protagonist in a good light….early.

So, when readers are trying to decide if they want to invest their hard-earned free time with your character for the next few days or week, we’re giving them a reason to stick with them.

Before reading this book, I’d definitely thrown in a scene or two with a softer Myrtle at some point in the mystery. But usually it wasn’t near the start of the story.
Excellent advice! Red the rest of Elizabeth Craig's article here: Save the Cat

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