Save the Cat by Blake Snyder is a book about screenwriting
And what does screenwriting have to do with business and life? I’d like to submit that there’s a huge parallel between our businesses, our lives and screenwriting based on this “Bible” of screenwriting that I learned about in a… wait for it… novel-writing workshop a few years ago.
Why the parallel?
Let’s just start with the first three chapter titles.
- What is it?
- Give me the same thing… only different.
- It’s about a guy who …
The chapters build on the idea of having a successful formula for creating the screenplay including the characters, the storyline, the pitch, the marketing, the writing, testing, etc. that are rules that cannot be broken. Our businesses have (need) some unbroken tenets.
Three-act plays are important only because the rule of three is dang strong. Example: Youth. Middle Age. Old Age. Another: Product life cycles: New, rising to a peak, and fading.
Character arcs: What does your company start as? How does it grow and then change? What are the “bookends” the opening and closing images that we can see about your company? What do YOU see? Can you apply that idea to your life?
Beats. What is the heartbeat of your company? What happens when? Is it on schedule and according to plan? Snyder lays out fifteen beats that define the screenplay. What are those for a company? A life?
The promise of the premise (a.k.a “What is it?”) has to appear on every page, in every scene, in all parts of your company, in all the stages of your life. You’re delivering what your website says, what your promotions promise, and what your families expect.
Okay. It’s a stretch. But people who buy from companies want to like the company and they want to think that, given the chance, the company would save the cat.
ALSO, I think we can learn so much from other disciplines. And from what I’ve seen, this is one of the better books for anyone wanting to write a screenplay. Besides. It’s funny.
Save a cat today.