Friday, August 13, 2010

The Geek's Beat Sheet - Spreadsheet Style

Last Sunday I mentioned that I created a beat sheet for my novel. After spending hours trying to figure out how to blur the text so I could actually show you, I gave up. This morning I did some research and figured out I could blur text using the Retouch tool in Picasa, so now I can show you a glimpse of my beat sheet. Yay!

I know the picture is stupid small, but it's the best I can do. Graphics design is NOT my strong suit.

Anyway, you can at least see that I color coded the rows that went together. The rows that are shaded blue all belong to my main plot. The yellow and green are subplots. Red rows indicate where I need to add scenes. The rows that aren't shaded are scenes that I can probably delete. Since I have so many scenes, I want to get rid of the unneeded ones and beef up the important ones.

Since Sunday, I also added a column for "Point of Story", which identifies the key points in my main plot. I got this idea thanks to a post on WriteonCon by Kendra Levin on Questions to Ask Yourself Before a Revision. I wanted to make sure all the elements were there, and strong.

If you want to create a spreadsheet beat sheet of your own, but don't know where to start, please contact me. I'd love to help!

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