I mentioned in my last post that I stomped around like a little kid when I thought about outlining my upcoming novel (click here to read “How I Saved Hundreds of Dollars On Editing“). In fact, I pretty much threw a fit for several weeks until I went back and visited Larry Brook’s website and printed off the beat sheet.
Now, anyone who follows Larry knows he’s a bit of a hard *ss. His delivery can be almost rude and can easily discourage new writers. But, he knows his stuff, and he’s excellent at what he does.
Here’s the link to the beat sheet so you can easily follow along. And, don’t forget, using this tool saved me hundreds of dollars in the developmental editing stage! http://storyfix.com/blank-beat-sheet-form
After my temper tantrum, I looked over my freshly printed beat sheet and filled out what I already knew in the story. The ending came to me first, so I filled in what was the 3rd plot point, and then I backed up from there. I then wrote down my opening including my hook and wrote a brief sentence of the scene that happened next, then next, and then next until I reached plot point 1, midpoint, etc. Before I realized it, I had my book planned out. There were times I wasn’t sure what happened next, but reviewing the previous scenes helped me stay on track.
Now, what was amazingly easy was changing my one sentence when a scene changed. This happened several times as I wrote and the story developed, but since I had a strong foundation, I stayed on track with my story.
Do you know the most amazing thing that happened by using this tool? It’s not the money I saved, although that was fantastic. I had the first draft with NO MAJOR REWRITES! The development of the story was strong. By planning out the plot points and just a bit of information that connected my scenes together I had a solid rough draft.
Now, don’t forget that developmental editing is not copyediting. Developmental editing covers the plot, characterization, pacing, and story development. Every novel needs this type of editing as well as copyediting.
Stay tuned for the additional low cost and free resources I used to save hundreds of dollars on developmental edits.
Until Next Time…