While I was reading about scriptwriting, I also learned about structure and story beats. The structure is like the framework of the story while story beats are the emotions of the story.
When it comes to learning about story structure Syd Field’s book Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting. He talks about the paradigm.
The Syd Field “Paradigm”
Some other story structures are:
Linda Seger “Story Spine”
John Truby’s “Twenty-two Building Blocks”
Christopher Vogler “The Hero’s Journey”
Micahel Hauge’s “Six Stage Plot Structure”
Dramatica Act Structure
NoFilmSchool.com “Three Act Structure”
While learning about beats I found that there are many different names for the beats but they all are about the same. The most important and used beats are addressed by Blake Snyder in his book Save the Cat!
Blake Snyder’s “Save The Cat!”
- Opening Image (pg 1)
- Theme Stated (pg 5)
- Set-up (pg 1-10)
- Catalyst (pg 12)
- Debate (pg 12-25)
- Break Into Two (pg 25)
- B Story (pg 30)
- Fun and Games (pg 30-35)
- Midpoint (pg 55)
- Bad Guys Close In (pg 55-75)
- All is Lost (pg 75)
- Dark Night of the Soul (pg 75-85)
- Break Into Three (pg 85)
- Finale (pg 85-110)
- Final Image (pg 110)
StudioBinder has a great post about the Save the Cat! Beat Sheet (bs2). They also have a free template for using the beat sheet.
NoFilmSchool.com “Movie Beat Sheet”
NoFilmSchool.com “The Original Story Map”
Here is a story map (which is the same as a beat sheet) from NoFilmSchool.com. They have an article about the map with examples here: Script Outline: Free Story Map Template.
It doesn’t matter what structure or beats you use, as long as you follow basic story points. You can find those in every movie and novel. You might even find them in your own life.