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This one tactic improved my stories

David Gane
David Gane
1 min read

Story beats can be a helpful way to help shape and build your story.

After a few missed attempts the past few weeks, I sat down today to figure why some of my stories felt like successes. I outline the story beats and something immediately became apparent: the most successful ones had 5-7 solid beats, with each one containing an average of 100-150 words.

The stories that didn't work or felt unfinished often were built with more or less. They still had beats to go, and I ran out of time and energy, or they were too little and incomplete.

Using this information, I could build out today's story a little more clearly, by examining the purpose of each beat individually, moving them around, to fit in missing beats, or simply know what it would take to finish the story.

By having just that bit of information has given me the extra confidence and structure to not worry about the rest of the story.


David Gane Twitter

Co-writer of the Shepherd and Wolfe young adult mysteries, the internationally award-winning series, and teacher of storytelling and screenwriting.


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