Story Beats Are Your Friend (I hope)

Welcome back to another script themed blog! Quite a few of these will end up being from lectures I’m attending for my final year at Uni, but it’s still useful for that author in us.

In one of my earlier blogs I talked about the five beat structure, putting the story into five beats. Now, hopefully this blog will help you if you think your story is becoming a little difficult to keep track of too.

So, let’s begin. With every story there are the main events, the important clincher points. Those are what you want in your story beats. So, if you struggle to get them into the five, try putting it into more than that. In a lecture I attended recently we were taught that it should be about one hundred and fifty maximum, at least for a feature film anyway. The minimum would be about sixty story beats.

It’s alright if the beats are a little sketchy at first. That’s what the whole exercise is for. This is to see where there are holes in the story, where we aren’t sure how we got to a certain point and to find the five main points of change to use in the five beat structure. This could also lead to helping you to write your pitch (that I talk about in another blog). The story beats could look like this, as an example:

-Mary destroys the kitchen

-Mary drives to John’s house

-Mary confronts John about their relationship

So, as you can see, it doesn’t have to be much, even if it does mean I’m subtly quoting SUPERNATURAL. I hope this quick blog has helped you figure out your story. I wish you all the best in your writing endeavours.


Abbie Allen


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