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Posts tagged ‘beat sheet’

Writer Wednesday: “Save the Cat Beat Sheet”

Do you find that your timing is a bit off? Do you rush the brush? Is the story unfolding too quickly? Maybe things are moving too slowly. Apparently, there’s there may be a science to this thing. I recently discovered the Beat Sheet, created by Blake Snyder.

The Beat Sheet is based on the idea that there are 15 “beats” to a novel. They are:

1. Opening Image

2. Theme Stated

3. Set-Up

4. Catalyst

5. Debate

6. Break into Two

7. B Story

8. Fun and Games

9. Midpoint

10. Bad Guys Close In

11. All Is Lost

12. Dark Night of the Soul

13. Break into Three

14. Finale

15. Final Image

Now, each beat should occur at a certain point in the novel. No, not roughly. Literally on a particular page… Or within 2-3 pages. Crazy, right? I know. But… A lot of people swear by this method. Elizabeth Davis even created a Beat Sheet spreadsheet. Yeah… A spreadsheet. You can download it here.

I haven’t tested this method out, so I can’t give it a fair judgment. Will I try it? Maybe. It seems pretty specific. I’ve come across quite a few methods of plotting, and this one is the most specific. It may be a bit too specific for my taste. I like to do things in a very orderly fashion, but I also like to give myself room to move around. This is something I may use in combination with another method. For example, I can see myself writing my novel, using some other method, then using this at the time of revision. If things aren’t happening at the best possible pace, I’ll use the spreadsheet and see if it helps.

As for you… Feel free to give it a wholehearted go!


Related Links:

How to Use the “Save the Cat” Beat Sheet for Revisions

Save the Cat Novel Writing Workshop

The Complications Worksheet

Other Links:

Lydia Kang on Revising 101

Kristen Lamb on The Concept Critique


What plotting methods have you come across?