The Fat Lady Sings (Again) – to Beat Sheets

CORRECTION: The wonderful Jami Gold has made a correction to this post. Although a number of “Beat Sheets” below are attributed to different authors, they were actually created by Jami herself. She’s drawn from the teachings of Larry Brooks, Michael Hauge, etc. to assemble them, hence their names. The Blake Snyder Beat Sheet was created by Elizabeth Davis. Confused yet?  Don’t worry. All will become clear as you read further.
Two other suggestions from Jami: first, she recommends this link for her Scrivener Beat Sheet: . And second, she provides a “clearinghouse” link for all Beat Sheets

Plotter or Pantser?

The other day I had a conversation with an author who outlines to the nth degree. He’s written his first book and has a narrative arc that stretches through the next two — a very dramatic arc and one I hope to read someday. I was in awe that he’s thought so far ahead, giving his characters deep psychological motives. I have trouble even scheduling my life out two weeks ahead!

unanswered questions - brainstorming conceptMystery writer Hallie Ephron is another one who carefully plots. But she says in her… Continue reading

And behind door number three

… is the way you should write your novel.

Just kidding.

There are many ways to write a novel. In her book Bird by Bird Anne Lamott advocates writing Shitty First Drafts – getting that first draft down on paper without worrying, no matter how bad it seems. She also suggests that you write a novel scene by scene without thinking too far ahead, quoting EL Doctorow as saying “Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip this way”. This… Continue reading