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Behind the Scenes: The Plan

In my first article about my writing process, I described how I plan a book project by deciding if the book is a standalone or a series. I’m starting a new series, and I’ve made some notes about characters and scenes.

The next thing I do is plot my book using the Save the Cat Method on index cards. Save the Cat is a book by Blake Snyder. Blake was a screenwriter who used his method to write movie scripts, but the method can also be used for books. 

The method breaks each story down into 15 beats, so I take out 15 index cards. I write a few sentences on each card. The first beat is the opening image, so I write notes about the main character and where he or she is when the story begins.

The rest of the beats detail events like the catalyst (an event that throws the character into the story with the love interest), the midpoint, the black moment (when everything is terrible), the finale (how things get resolved), and the closing image.

In a couple of weeks, I’ll share how I start writing.