Are you still with me? Got your Beat Sheet ready? Now that you’re sketched out the main arc of the story, It’s time to dive in and make a scene by scene outline. This is where that prioritized list and Beat Sheet get translated into your story. Think of the Beat Sheet as high level telling what will happen in your book. Now, it’s time to get to showing.
After I finished drafting the Haverhill project, I decided to get into a plotting frame of mind by reading a book that’s been on my TBR shelf for a while, Save the Cat Writes a Novel. If you’re not familiar with the Save the Cat plot structure, I highly recommend checking it out. It started as a guide for screenwriters to help them develop successful screenplays. The method focuses mainly around something called a Beat Sheet. The idea is that to keep your story moving and following an arc that will keep readers turning pages, you should focus on a set series of story beats.
I talk to so many people who say that writing a book (novel, memoir, non-fiction) is a goal or theirs but they don’t necessarily know where to start, or if their story is interesting enough. So, I thought I would share how I get started on a project. If you’ve ever listened to me talk about writing, you probably know that I’m a plotter. I like to outline. I plot everything from novels to emails to my kids teachers.
Hallelujah! I finally finished the first draft of my Southern women’s fiction novel. The current working title is Haverhill Harmony, but that is likely to change. Since I usually pick the title after the book is done, I can’t say what the final title would be but I have some ideas.
Between the carpark at Inchdnadamph and the start of the Traligill Glen is a tourist marker explaining the geological significance of the area. I found these markers that dot the Highlands incredibly informative, but this one had an interesting story. In one section is spoke of geologist, Charles Lapworth whose first called attention to the dramatic Moine Thrust in Assynt back in 1882. According to the sign, Lapworth wrote about having nightmares about being “bodily caught up in the Moine Thrust” and crushed between the tectonic plates that meet near there. Now, I have an uncle who is a geologist, and for a second I tried to imagine him having nightmares about plate tectonics. It made Lapworth seem a bit hyperbolic.
By the time I went to Scotland in April of 2015, I had already written the story of young Rab. I had always known that Sarah would meet her father when she went to Scotland, but I wasn’t entirely sure how the weight of losing/giving up Molly and their child had sat on Rab through the years. I didn’t know where he would be in his life, or what he would have done with himself in the intervening time. Until I met him, strangely in the very place where he should have been.