Thursday Jun 22, 2023

059 // The 15 Steps of a Captivating Plot Outline (Write a Novella Series, week 5)

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!


Your friend,



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