Wednesday, February 5, 2014

My version of story beats

Story Beats. After a lot of research I have come up with my own Story Beats. I find that I learn best by manipulating ideas until they are my own.  This is by no means the only way of looking at it but it is my way.  These plot points need to show up in every story. They move the story along. Placed at the wrong spot in the story or worse, out of order and they can ruin it.

Imagine an Inciting Incident that happened on page 200. Or shudder thinking about a climax on page 20 followed by a 200 page denouement. Imagine a Dark Moment happening before the start of the journey. A story has to flow; we know it when we see it. Things have to happen in the right order at roughly the correct periodicity. Too much in between and a reader skips ahead to get to the next important plot point.

The Story
Act I
Boy Finds Girl
The Character, situation "Before"
"In a galaxy far far away. A long time ago"
Page 1-3
A young farm girl runs away from home
Page 1-3
Inciting Incident
Theme Stated
The event that changed the course of the Main Characters life
Good vs Evil, Coming of Age, Man against Nature
Page 1-20
House Falls on Evil Witch
Page 20-40
Start Journey
How do I get home
page 40-60
Act II
Boy loses Girl
New World
Change Playing Field
How are things different
Page 60-100
B Story
Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion
Page 60-100
Fail, Regroup, Fail
Fun & Games
The meat of the story. Attempt to solve the problem
Fight Empire
Page 80-160
Go after Voldermort or let others do it
Page 150
Bad guys regroup
Flying Monkeys
Page 140-180
Dark Moment
All is lost
Darkest before the dawn
Hans taken away
Page 160-200
Dark Moment
Luke, I am your Father
Page 180-220
Boy Gets Girl
Forces come together
A&B Combine
Bring subplots together
Ron wins at Wizard Chess
Page 200-240
Protagonist changes so that they can win
Kill Voldemort, Tap Ruby Slippers,
Page 240-280
Final Image
Restate theme. Impact of the change
19 years later, Harry says goodbye to children at train station
Page 280-300



  1. Very nice! I took you advice on Scrivener! With these 2 helping out I have come to realize that I am going to have to change a lot of my book already! :)

    I love the blog by the way! Good Job and please keep writing in it.