What the *Bleep* Am I Doing?! An Artist’s Guide To All Things Creative: Beat Sheets

Writers block. Any writer’s worst enemy. That dreaded feeling of not knowing what comes next and it feels like that little annoying curser is mocking you with each blink. But worry about writers block no longer my friends. Because, I have a pretty helpful solution!

Now, it’s not a catch all solution for all of your writing woes, so at times you’ll still feel a bit stuck. But on the bright side, knowing this handy little trick will help you in many tough times. That’s right, I’m talking about beat sheets!

What the hell is a beat sheet?

To put it simply, a beat sheet is your whole entire story broken down into step by step chunks from beginning to end. But with different categories. For example, the category “The Catalyst”. Here you would jot down what is the major thing that gets your story rolling. For example in Huger Games.

Katniss Everdeen sees her sister Primm get chosen for the Hunger Games, Katniss steps in as tribute. That would be called the stories Catalyst. Or another would be when Cinder runs into Prince Kai at her mechanic shop in the book Cinder.

A beat sheet breaks down what happens in your book with each category so you know where to go with each step. A good example of a beat sheet would be from the book Save the Cat! I highly recommend giving it a look, it’s super helpful and it’s helped me more than once. It even breaks the categories down into really good examples so you can fully understand what will go in which category.

Why are they important and why should I care to put time in it?

As I’ve said above, the beat sheet provides you with a timeline so-to-speak so you know exactly where to go when you’re stuck in a specific section or chapter of your book. It comes in handy especially if you’re a “pantser” like myself. And a beat sheet will help you know for sure what your story is about. There’s one too many times I’ve written without a beat sheet and couldn’t finish because I had no clue where I was going with my story.

All in all, I can’t express how important a beat sheet is for a writer. It takes so much stress off and makes everything easier. Well, I hope this helps make things easier for all of you, my fellow writers. If you have any questions feel free to ask! Till next time!

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