Simply, a beat sheet is a plan of attack.
It provides several reasons for usage, but the greatest benefit is efficiency.
Imagine this. . .
A secret weapon for Story Design!
I know, take a while to breathe. . .
In addition, the best way to use a beat sheet is to know how it empowers you as an artist.
Here's the three power benefits of using a beat sheet:
A beat sheet doesn't replace brainstorming, but think of it as coherent and focused brainstorming.
It keeps you on track and focuses on your goal, finishing your story.
After brainstorming, you'll have several ideas and concepts all over the place.
No worries, the beat sheet will take those ideas and distill them into one coherent story.
Most likely, this story will be the "SPINE" of your story.
The spine is the core storyline, the main storyline, and the other storylines and subplots will hinge upon this one.
NOTE: If you're having too many problems, try another storyline as the spine!
As a Platform
The beat sheet provides a platform for you to splatter your ideas on the blank canvas that you begin with.
As a Foundation
The beat sheet provides a foundation for you to build your ideas upon later.
Whether as a platform or a foundation, know that a beat sheet will bring you much success in story design.
The beat sheet is a secret weapon because you'll spend time on it and get mad and wonder, all the time I wasted.
But don't fret, that's not true!
The beat sheet will help you organize your scenes after its completion and save you steps down the line.
A greater benefit of using the beat sheet is for organizing sequences because when you follow the correct steps in Story Design, your beat sheet is a fundamental aspect of finishing your story more efficiently.
Did you know?
Did you know you already know two Beat Sheets?
The Heroic Journey is the BS1.
Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet is the BS2.