This is something I made for my undergrad creative writing students who struggle with excessive exposition. Figured I might as well share it here.
This is a great tool! You've got lucky students.
Agreed. Very helpful!
Huh... that sounds about right.
Is it weird this makes my skin crawl? Like if I find that I've what I think of as any of these I rewrite. Not saying it is BAD just feels like a wet sweater.
It's not weird, but it does make me academically curious. What would you be looking to do differently if you happened upon a 3-beat scene in your work?
I use things like this when I'm stuck. Dan Wells's 7 point system is a great one to go to as well. Often, maybe usually, I look to some kind of structure/template that manifests all the time in (good) stories and see how mine fits, and then I see what I'm missing. And it usually occurs to me what that missing piece is, specifically, for my chapter/scene/whatever.
I think maybe Dwayne's knee-jerk (accurate term?) reaction is because he doesn't like being fit into a box. Like, at all. (Totally sympathize.)
But I look at it kind of through the lens of a Douglas Bader quote I recently found: Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men. And that's why I like little things like this.
@Liam Meilleur - I have a four beat that all my works tends to fall in.
1) Kick the puppy. Emotionally punch the reader in the guy, make them feel something.
2) Don't resolve a damn thing, just end things.
3) Raises more questions than answers.
4) At some point do something that makes sense that gives it a real-world feel. Can be at any spot.
are those actually beats though?
I mean, can't you ask that about anything?