Posts tagged ‘beat sheets’

October 14, 2013

50 Resources to Help You Outline Your Script

You hear it from every direction: You need to write an outline. Some writers insist that a basic skeleton is enough to get you started; some say you have to spend a month outlining every last detail of your script before you start writing; and still others insist that you should just start writing and be prepared for the inevitable page-one rewrite that will follow your first draft.

You’re pretty sure you need an outline, but you’re not sure whether it should seven lines or forty pages…

If you’re struggling to find the best outlining method, check out these 50 resources for outlining your script. You’ll find a variety of opinions in here — the trick is finding the advice that is most helpful to you.

Here are a few of the articles I find most useful on the subject:

Outlining on ScriptShadow

Outline So That You Have a Plan to Ditch Once You Start Writing on Mastering Film

Outlining Your Script on The Writer’s Store

April 22, 2011

Recommendation: BeatSheetCentral

 *Note: Sites and services that I choose to recommend do not compensate me for my recommendation. These are simply resources that I have found helpful.*

I discovered this site today while looking for articles about how to beat out a script. It’s called beatsheetcentral.com and its simply a collection of user-generated beat sheets for famous movies and television shows.

You can search through the site’s content and try to find beat sheets for films similar to the one you’re trying to pen. Seeing the written structure of a film and trying to pick out for yourself where the inciting incident, the act breaks, the midpoint, the climax, etc. fall can be extremely informative when trying to create a structure for your own story.

Here are a few words from the site’s creator:

A few notes on what I consider a proper beat sheet:

  • It should contain every scene of the film, and say fully what happens in each scene.
  • It should be concisely written and easily readable.
  • Each scene should be its own paragraph, and be numbered for easy reference.

I should make this clear: I do not believe that there is a formula for creating commercially or critically successful films. I believe they come from, in the words of Norman Mailer, “experience filtered through the prism of memory.”

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