It's difficult to adequately express my level of gratitude for folks publishing the various "Beat Sheet" novel outline summaries.

They provide a crisp set of guidelines for outlining a story.

I remember -- many, many years ago -- being advised to borrow plots from other books. Characters are relatively easy, but plots are hard. Really hard.

Having a beat sheet provides a sensible, conventional plot structure.

The best part of the beat sheets is having a "plan this first, plan this next" ordering to the beats. I've been using The One Page Novel Plot Formula because it seems to be the most detailed and helpful.


(This is a personal problem, not a problem with the blog, the resources, or the other books available.)

The "planning" is never as easy (for me) as it might appear. I think I've got a good story arc. Characters. Setting. We're good to go.

Then. We get down to the details. The detailed details. I like my fiction gritty, and this is where the issues start to surface.

I thought I understood the Bolt - Shift - Power - Resolution thing. But. Really...

The more I write, the more I find. I was confident I had the Bolt-Shift thing. But as I'm writing, I'm less and less happy. There needs to be a fair amount of rewriting to rearrange the setup. I worry that I missed something when I was outlining. I also think that -- perhaps -- it's a matter of me learning when and how to delve into the details.