Today we’re continuing the Write a Novella in 18 Weeks series. Here in week 5, the challenge is to write a full outline in 15 steps.
In the past, I would write this step outline by jotting down the action steps in scene one, then the action steps in scene two, then the action steps in scene three. I thus ended up with a lot of steps after this outline.
But I’ve recently finished reading Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody. In it, she shares the Save the Cat! Beat Sheet, which she also refers to as your structure cheat sheet. I like structure. I like experimenting with ways to improve my storytelling skills. And I like that it’s divided into the standard three acts, and subdivided into 15 sub-steps from there.
So I gave it a go and outlined my story according to her beat sheet. I enjoyed the process, and it took me less than three hours to complete. I also found that thinking through my outline in this way enriched my story, so thank you Jessica Brody for writing this book. If you haven’t read this book, I recommend it. I don’t know Jessica and am not getting any kind of kickback for promoting her book. I just think you’d benefit from reading it.
In the meantime, I want to share her outlining process so you can make sure your story has the structure it needs to keep your readers turning pages. Let’s get to it!
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