Prepping for NaNoWriMo: The Sequence and Beat Sheet!

I love my sequence and beat sheet. Love, love, love it. It’s basically a form of outline I use for getting a story down, but because of my screenwriting background, I tend to think of stories in sequences, beats, scenes, etc. In this outline approach, the “beats” are the main steps of the story. Each beat is supported by one or more scenes. For example: Anna gets a horse for her birthday. Anna’s father loses his job Parents can’t afford to keep the horse. Anna gets a job at the stables to support her horse-riding. Anna falls from a loft and breaks her leg. ETC. After I’ve done copious amounts of prewriting (i.e. I basically know what the story is about and where I want to go), I write my first beat sheet. Sometimes I know...

Screenplay: The Frenzy – Preparing Part 2: The Outline!

Many screenwriters I know hate writing outlines (and loglines and summaries and treatments). I’ve approached each feature I’ve written in a different manner, trying to find the ultimate way of getting the story outlined. By far, the most successful technique I’ve found (the one that made the story flow from my fingers) was the “sequence” approach. I have my own adaptation of this that I call “Beats and Sequences.” I think each writer has to find what works for them. I studied the 3-act, the hero’s journey, Sid Field’s & Michael Hague’s approaches, which you can easily find on line. But I never connected with anything as much as the sequence approach, which is taught in the USC screenwriting program....