Save the Cat! Writes a Young Adult Novel: Sneak Peek and Cover Reveal

Attention Save the Cat! Fans! I’ve got BIG NEWS! 

In this post, I’m revealing all the juicy details about the next book in the Save the Cat! Series, Save the Cat! Writes a Young Adult Novel, written by yours truly, including a first look at the cover!

So, yes, it’s true. I wrote another Save the Cat book focusing entirely on young adult novels and I know you have questions so I’ll do my best to answer them.

If you don’t yet know what Save the Cat! Is be sure to read my post, What is Save the Cat!? Then, come back to this one when you’re all caught up on the lingo. 

Okay, onto the questions!

When does the book release? 

The book is scheduled to release in May 2023. Which I realize feels like a long way away if you’re reading this post in the fall of 2022. But hopefully the time will go fast. 

And if you need something to pass the time, don’t forget about my official Save the Cat! Novel Writing course, which is available to stream right now in the Writing Mastery Academy! 

And if you just happen to be reading this after May 2023, then you’re in luck! The book is out! Drop everything, run to your local bookstore, grab yourself a copy, and start working on those 15 beats!

What formats will it release in? 

Similar to Save the Cat! Writes a Novel, the book will be released simultaneously in paperback, eBook, and audiobook, so whatever your preferred method of absorbing information might be, we have a format for you! 

Why a YA version?

I had a feeling this question would come up! Why do you need a YA version when the original book already had plenty of YA examples?

Yes, it’s true, the original did have some YA examples and although the structure of a young adult novel is similar to the structure of any other novel and follows the same 15 beats as any other story, the filter through which we tell young adult stories is quite unique. 

And I can speak to that from experience. 

After writing more than fifteen YA novels in my career, I can safely say that YA is its own novel-writing beast and it does warrant its own guide, if for no other reason than to laser-focus our study of story structure using exclusively young adult examples. 

Which is what this new book does. Every page, every beat, every genre, every tip is geared toward helping writers of young adult fiction tell the best stories they can tell. 

In writing this book, I’ve analyzed over 100 young adult novels to give you the most in-depth look at these types of stories and characters so I can also give you the best possible chance of writing your own young adult bestseller. 

How is it different from the first book? 

Besides being filled exclusively with young adult examples, there are actually a few things that are completely new and different in this book that don’t exist in Save the Cat! Writes a Novel. 

First and foremost…

Customizing Your Beat Sheet Chapter

In the first book, there’s a very extensive chapter about how to build your Save the Cat! Beat Sheet (AKA your structure road map) and make it the most compelling it can be. And from what I’ve heard, writers found it extremely helpful. YAY! However, I also got a lot of questions from writers that usually began with the phrase, “But what about…” 

“But what about…multiple points of view, prologues, flashbacks, backstory, villain stories, Catalysts that come on the first page!?”

Many of these were not addressed in the first book, or addressed very quickly. 

Basically what all of these questions are asking is, how do I customize the Save the Cat! Method for my story? 

Good question!

One of the great things about being a novelist is flexibility. We have the potential to do so many creative things in the novel-writing space and young adult novelists are some of the most creative novelists out there! But in the end, we still need a solid structure and a well-told story. 

That’s why, in addition to including another very extensive chapter on the 15 beats, in Save the Cat! YA, I also included this new chapter about customizing those beats to work for you. Think of this chapter as sort of the “advanced beat sheet” chapter where you can take the foundations that you’ll learn about in the Save the Cat! Beat sheet chapter and make them your own. Once again, analyzing and breaking down tons of examples from young adult authors who put their own creative spin on basic story structure so that we can learn what works and get inspired by some of the greats. 

Save the Cat! Writes a Young Adult SERIES chapter!

This one comes by very popular demand and I’m very excited about it! 

Duologies, trilogies, quartets and more! In this book, I break down series in the most detail I’ve ever done, and show you how the Save the Cat method (and those same 15 beats!) can be used to help you structure, plan, and write a compelling series. And yes, this chapter is filled with…you got it, more YA examples!

There are two bigger differences between Save the Cat! YA and Save the Cat! Writes a Novel. But I’ve also included some new ways to look at plot and structure, some new tips and tricks that I’ve discovered along the way for writing the best novel you can. But I’ll let you discover those on your own when the book comes out. 

I already own the first book, do I need the YA book too? 

The short answer is no, you don’t need the YA book. if you already own and use the first book. But it’s very possible you might want it. 

For the very reasons I just listed. Not to mention the opportunity to study even more examples of the beat sheet in the action. 

Just like Save the Cat! Writes a Novel, Save the Cat! Writes a YA Novel comes with 10 full beat sheet breakdowns of popular novels. That’s 10 more in-depth study tools that you can use to craft your own story, regardless of what age group its intended for. 

And in this book, because multiple-point-of-view stories are becoming more and more popular (especially in the YA space), I’ve chosen to break down 4 different novels with multiple points of view. And one of those novels contains 5 points of view! As you might know, this means there are 5 intersecting beat sheets going on. It’s a marvel of structure, to be sure and I had so much fun writing that beat sheet. 

So if you’re curious about multiple points of view, or just how to take your plotting up a notch, you might find some of the more complex structure breakdowns in this book extremely helpful, even if you’re not writing young adult. 

But like I said before, the 15 beats are the 15 beats. They haven’t changed since I wrote the first book, so there’s nothing new about the Save the Cat! method, itself. But my perspective on those 15 beats and how to teach them has changed somewhat. 

I’ve learned a lot since I wrote Save the Cat! Writes a Novel, namely from talking to authors, answering your questions in my webinars, hearing what you’re struggling with. And all of that has opened my eyes to new ways of talking about structure and new ways of breaking it down. 

So, no, you don’t need this book if you already have the first one, but you never know how it might inspire you, break you out of a plotting blockage, or just help you see story structure and your story structure in particular in a new light.

What are some of the YA novels you break down in this book? 

Well, I do need to leave some mystery alive. I can’t tell you everything. 

But I’ll give you a small taste of some of the novels that are featured prominently in this book. Note not all of these have full beat sheets in the book, but they’re all referenced quite often as stellar plotting examples.

Here are some of the books that I analyzed in Save the Cat! Writes a Young Adult Novel:

  • Six of Crows by Leigh Barudgo
  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeymi
  • The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
  • Warcross by Marie Lu
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart 
  • Plus many, many more!

Hopefully by now you’re getting excited. Are you ready to see the cover? 

I give you, Save the Cat! Writes a Young Adult Novel!



Isn’t it fantastic? I love the colors, love the scribbles, love the cat, love it all! 

And best of all, you can pre-order your copy now!

If you can’t wait until May, be sure to check out Save the Cat! Writes a Novel, the first book, or my official Save the Cat! Online Novel Writing course where I walk you step by step through the 15 beats of the Save the Cat! Method with tons of examples from popular books and movies, and I brainstorm a novel right along with you so you can see how I approach the Save the Cat! process from start to finish.

That course is available to stream on demand in the Writing Mastery Academy.

Until next time, writer friends. 

Happy Writing!




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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!

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