Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Beat sheets

Today I saw this post by Francesca Zappia. It contains a link to a beat sheet spreadsheet which I found fascinating. I had heard of beat sheets for screenplays before but had never really looked at one or tried to use one for noveling. I did some digging around and found an INCEPTION beat sheet on the website of the guy who designed the beat sheet spreadsheet. I also found a THE HUNGER GAMES (novel) beat sheet on there too. Between the two of them, I got a pretty good idea of how it works, and I think I understand something of what made the pacing in INCEPTION and THE HUNGER GAMES so well done and satisfying. Also, neither one adhered specifically to the number formula used in the spreadsheet, I imagine there's a lot of flexibility to be had there, so I'm not planning to use it as some kind of paint by numbers worksheet but more as a guide.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Preparedness level: 40%

4 weeks left until the change over from outlining to chapter writing. Preparedness level estimated at: 40%. If I make a few good breakthroughs I could conceivably get to 50 or 60% within the next day or two, need to put in the time and make that happen.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

One month

Today is one month until my start-writing deadline! Still so much work to be done on my outline. And no matter what, this one's going until the end of the plot, no quitting at 20k, no quitting at 40k, no matter what kind of pile of nonsense it is, it's going until it's over, likely ~90k, and it's getting at least one major revision, no matter how much I might whine! Wish me luck.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Today I was reading Leigh Ann's post about rewards and decided that I need to promise myself a good reward for following through on this draft. As I was typing out my comment on her post, I realized just how long it's been since I've finished a rough draft. The vast majority of the novels I've started over the years have been just that, started. Most of them (that even get from outline stage to first draft stage) just sort of fizzle out after 20 to 40k and I decide I need to move on because I have a better idea. But consequently I've been robbing myself of the experiences of finishing and polishing manuscripts. So, no matter what I end up thinking about my current novel idea when I hit 20 or 40k, this time I'm going to keep going, I'm going to finish the plot, and I'm going to revise it at least once before I let myself think about trunking it.

The reward for a finished first draft shall be a Kindle Fire, I really want one!