nanowrimoSo before we get into a part-by-part break down of your beat sheet and story structure, let me show you what the entire beast looks like from beginning to end!

I call this the BFG Beat Sheet, really because it is the “Big Fucking Gun” of the screenwriting industry. Tons of people use this sort of template as a light roadmap to figure out the major turning points in their stories. Now, I know what some of you are thinking: isn’t that a bit formulaic?

Well, if you feel as though you’re limited to just this outline and in this order and you keep replicating it in your work, then heck yeah it’s formulaic! But there’s a difference between a formula and a foundation. The major beats listed below are beats that you generally find in any story, whether it’s about Hansel and Gretel or about grandpa’s trip to the mall. And if you personally don’t find grandpa’s struggle to find the new doo-hickey suspenseful, then just wait until you get to that age. Trust me, it will be anxiety inducing to the max.


Scriptwriting, meet the BFG. And no, I’m not talking about Roald Dahl, stylez.

Anyways, consider the BFG Beat sheet as a nice launch pad for those of us who have NO CLUE how to start a story or a screenplay. Each part of the beat sheet deals with the Beginning, Middle, and End, but in it’s own way. The greatest part about this is that it’s not of my invention (though I wish it were). The BFG Beat Sheet is a combination of tips, tricks, and templates from the some of the greatest minds in screenwriting today: Blake Snyder, Syd Field, and Pilar Alessandra, among others.

So check it out below! Don’t worry about the sections. Trust me, we’ll break this whole baby down in our next posts! 😉

The “Not-of-Colby’s-Design-but-Still-Freakin’-Great” BFG Beat Sheet Template


ACT ONsunriseE (Trauma): Title

Opening Image (1):

Theme Stated (5):

Set Up (1-10):

Catalyst (12):

Debate (12-25):

Plot Point #1:


ACT TWO (A) (Training): Title midday

Break Into Two (25):

B Story (30):

Fun and Games (30-55):

Midpoint (55):


ACT TWO (B) (Trials): Title

Bad Guys Close In (55-75):

All is Lost (75):

Dark Night of the Soul (75-85):

Plot Point #2:


ACT THREE (Triumph): Title sunset

Break Into Three (85):

Finale (85-110):
* Gather the Team:
* Storm the Castle:
* The High Tower Surprise:
* Dig Deep Down:
* Execute the New Plan:

Final Image (110):

And there you have it! I’ve laid out the beast for you in its true form, and now, we’re going to break it down bit by bit. Stay tuned, and post your comments below on tactics that you use for structuring your story or screenplay! 

And now, an inspirational word and song from our sponsors…

NaNoWri/ScriMo Inspirational Quote & Song of the Day

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Wayne Gretzky

Keep it indie, and write on, rock on!
<3 Colby