The Page a Day Writers Group

The Beat Goes On

Posted on: August 10, 2010

It was the early ‘60s when Sonny and Cher made the phrase “the beat goes on” famous. As a bubble-gummer, I didn’t realize the beat would be an important tool in my chosen profession.

When you’re learning about writing a structurally sound and entertaining novel, every arrow you can access in your writing quiver is a plus. This week I added “beat sheet” to mine. This method helps writers identify the major milestones in their novels – the story’s beats. I’m sure this application is much different than what the singing duo, formerly known as Caesar and Cleo, had in mind some 40 years ago.

I learned more about this invaluable writing tool last week from Larry Brooks (Storyfix.com). His most recent blog crystallized my understanding of its purpose. Larry says a “beat sheet” is a bulleted listing of the scenes in your story. In his blog, he outlines how to create a “beat sheet that will work for your writing style.”

Visit his blog to read more about beat sheets and to access a reprintable template that he credits one of his readers, Rachel Savage, for creating.

–Claire Yezbak Fadden

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1 Response to "The Beat Goes On"

Terrific idea, Claire. I’d love to see your beat sheet–sounds like another indispensable tool for our writers’ toolbox. Storyfix is a wonderful source for guidance!

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Who are we?

The Page a Day Writers Group is a diverse collection of wonderful writers based in San Diego, CA. We've been meeting monthly since 2004. Our primary function is in-depth writing critique, marketing and brainstorming, but there's usually some wine, chocolate and ribaldry involved too. We write fantasy, humor, literary fiction, nonfiction, romance, thrillers and YA. Join us on our journeys to publication and the wonderland beyond!

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