Save the Cat! Novel Calculator

If you’re writing a novel or short story using the Save the Cat! beat sheet and wondering exactly where your beats should fall, then have I got a cool tool for you! (Not to mention a nice rhyme there.)

When outlining, writing, or revising a novel, it’s helpful to know not only what story beats to hit (like the Catalyst, Break into 2, Fun and Games, Midpoint, and All is Lost) but also where they fall in your particular story. Hitting the right beats on the right page (or at right word count) will help set up your story’s pacing and ensure you’re on track to craft an engaging story that readers will devour from start to finish. And the Save the Cat Novel Calculator can help you do just that.

The Save the Cat! Novel Calculator is a tool to determine where each beat should be placed in your manuscript based on the total page count or word count of your story.

According to the Save the Cat! storytelling method, each beat should appear at a specific place in your story (i.e. the Catalyst comes around 10%, the Break into 2 around 20% and the Midpoint around 50%). The calculator simply does the math for you, multiplying these percentages by your total page (or word) count to give you a fairly accurate estimate of where each beat should go in your story.

Keep in mind, however, these calculations are based on an average of all novels, which means your novel may vary. The calculator’s result is meant to be a guideline only. All stories are a little different, so your beats might not fall exactly on the mark. And that’s okay! After all, writing is an art, not an exact science.

How to Use the Calculator

Simply enter your actual or estimated total Word/Page Count and click the Calculate Beats button to see the results.

If you don’t have an actual or estimate for your total Page/Word Count yet, choose a few popular novels that are in your same genre and use an average of those to come up with an estimate. Again, the goal here is not to be exact, but to give some general guidelines.

To give a few examples, here are some average Page and Word Counts for a few genres:

GenreAverage Page CountAverage Word Count
General Fiction280 to 400 pages70,000 to 100,000 words
Science Fiction / Fantasy360 to 400 pages90,000 to 100,000 words
Thriller / Horror / Mystery280 to 360 pages70,000 to 90,000 words
Young Adult240 to 360 pages60,000 to 90,000 words

 

The Save the Cat! Novel Calculator

Estimated Total Pages or Words :

 

BeatPage / Word Count
Opening Image
Theme Stated
Setup
Catalyst
Debate
Break Into 2
B Story
Fun and Games
Midpoint
Bad Guys Close In
All Is Lost
Dark Night of the Soul
Break Into 3
Finale
Final Image

 

Hope this calculator is helpful! If you’d like to learn more about how to write a novel using the Save the Cat! method, check out my book, Save the Cat! Writes a Novel and the official online companion course, available on Writing Mastery Academy.

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SAVE THE CAT! WRITES A NOVEL

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Sign up today to receive a FREE Starter Kit including an introduction to the 15 beats, 3 Beat Sheets of popular novels, and a blank Beat Sheet for your own novel.

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GET A FREE STARTER KIT

SAVE THE CAT! WRITES A NOVEL

Discover the secret storytelling code behind every bestselling novel.

Sign up today to receive a FREE Starter Kit including an introduction to the 15 beats, plus 3 Beat Sheets of popular novels!

By signing up you agree to receive the requested information, Writing Mastery Newsletter & special offers in accordance with our Privacy Policy.