Beat Sheets: For Plotters, Pantsers, and Technophobes

The best explanation and value of beats in your work in progress that I’ve read

Writers In The Storm Blog

by Jami Gold

If you’ve heard of beat sheets before, you might have heard about complicated forms or spreadsheets. I don’t know about you, but I don’t do math. Heck, I write my stories by the seat of my pants, so something that forces me to draft in a regimented way doesn’t appeal to me either.

Er, okay… So why am I talking to you about beat sheets when they’re a tool of outlining and a Microsoft Excel thing with lots of numbers?

It’s because everyone can use beat sheets—plotters, pantsers, and anyone in between. Trust me. *smile*

So a Beat Sheet Is a Sheet with Beats? Huh? What the heck Is a Beat?

Story beats are plot events that force the story to turn in a new direction (i.e. “turning point”). They’re the choices, dilemmas, and questions that make readers turn the pages. After each main beat…

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Spring is here


The sounds of birds singing and the cheerful conversations of my neighbours out enjoying the sunshine heralded the passing of the long winter season.
Some, such as my six year old grandson,


will miss it for all the great winter sports such as hockey, skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and skating.
As for myself, this was my first winter spent without snow, and while I have to admit I miss the beauty of it on a crisp, sparkly day, I don’t miss the roads or the never-ending shoveling.

For me, maybe because it’s my birth month, spring is a time of renewal and promise. I love all the signs as the grass turns green, the plants burst into flower and babies are born all over the animal kingdom.


What about you? Is spring your favourite time of year?