Beat Sheets: For Plotters, Pantsers, and Technophobes

Writers In The Storm Blog

by Jami Gold

If you’ve heard of beat sheets before, you might have heard about complicated forms or spreadsheets. I don’t know about you, but I don’t do math. Heck, I write my stories by the seat of my pants, so something that forces me to draft in a regimented way doesn’t appeal to me either.

Er, okay… So why am I talking to you about beat sheets when they’re a tool of outlining and a Microsoft Excel thing with lots of numbers?

It’s because everyone can use beat sheets—plotters, pantsers, and anyone in between. Trust me. *smile*

So a Beat Sheet Is a Sheet with Beats? Huh? What the heck Is a Beat?

Story beats are plot events that force the story to turn in a new direction (i.e. “turning point”). They’re the choices, dilemmas, and questions that make readers turn the pages. After each main beat…

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