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Rated: 13+ · Message Forum · Writing · #1474311
A month-long challenge designed to help you plan a novel prior to writing it.
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Oct 7, 2020 at 11:15pm
#3375822
*Cat2*Save the Cat Beat Sheet (Outlining Method)
I had a blast outlining last night for several hours, and just in case anyone isn't familiar with the idea of story beats, I wanted to throw this out there. The save the cat method of story outlining comes from a book of the same title that was originally focused on screenwriting but can be flawlessly adapted for novels, as well.

For pantsers/plantsers who don't want to tie themselves down super firmly to a scene-by-scene/chapter-by-chapter outline and may not have found their perfect fit in the many other amazing outline resources on the prompt calendar, using beats might be helpful. (In addition to being really useful as a pre-writing tool, it's a great post-drafting technique, as well, to help you identify and correct pacing problems!) Story beats are flexible enough to allow for creativity while still ensuring that a story hits those intensely emotional moments that readers come for.

I did a weird, hyper-personalized form of this for my outline (I added several columns to the table for all my major questions/themes/mysteries and how each beat should ideally move them forward) and it's filled out but still remarkably flexible. Unavoidably, this method is similar to some others, but this is the one that "clicked" for me, and I hoped it might be useful to other folks, as well! *Heart* Happy writing!

*Star* Here's a video by a traditionally published author   (also a pantser) who read the boring book so you don't have to and pulled out the valuable bits to talk about. She goes into detail on the function of each beat. This is a great introduction to the concept.

*Star* Here's an adapted .pdf file for novelists, giving a bit of explanation on the beats and their functions.  

*Star* Here's a page, with examples, that breaks down the movie The Matrix and how it masterfully met each of these beats.   I found this one super helpful, because abstract examples can only help so much. The above two resources were extremely helpful, but I loved the beat-by-beat breakdown in this one. (Be aware that some beat names might be different between links. Some will call the event that sets your character in motion the "inciting incident" and some will call it the "catalyst," for example.)

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"Let me live, love and say it well
in good sentences."
- Sylvia Plath


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*Cat2*Save the Cat Beat Sheet (Outlining Method) · 10-07-20 11:15pm
by Roseille ♥
Re: Save the Cat Beat Sheet (Outlining Method) · 10-07-20 11:41pm
by Satuawany
Re: Save the Cat Beat Sheet (Outlining Method) · 10-08-20 12:07am
by QueenNormaJean HoHoHumbuggery
Re: Save the Cat Beat Sheet (Outlining Method) · 10-08-20 4:17am
by Professor Q bought a house!
Re: Re: Save the Cat Beat Sheet (Outlining Met... · 10-08-20 3:42pm
by Roseille ♥
Re: Re: Re: Save the Cat Beat Sheet (Outlinin... · 10-09-20 12:27am
by Professor Q bought a house!
Re: Save the Cat Beat Sheet (Outlining Method) · 10-08-20 10:51am
by Cat Carroll

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