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Beat Sheets for Writers

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Back to the Future Beat Sheet (Plot Guide) - Plottr
Directed by Robert Zemeckis, Back to the Future isn’t only one of the most iconic movies of all time—it’s also a great example of how to tell a story using the classic Three Act Structure narrative framework. In this Back to the Future beat sheet, we’ll look at how the movie’s plot fits into Three Act …

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A female-driven romantic comedy favorite, Bridesmaids serves up a very funny road-to-the-altar plot with a memorable protagonist. As the competition between the maid of honor and a friend in the wedding party who is determined to run the show increases, the plot takes several twists and turns. In this Bridesmaids beat sheet, we examine the plot …

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Cinderella Beat Sheet (Plot Guide) - Plottr
It’s a story told countless times, from children’s books to the Disney animated classic, and even on ice! Maybe you’ll be inspired to write your own modern fairy tale.
Whether or not you believe it’s a Christmas movie (it is), Die Hard is a classic action thriller. When a New York City police detective battles terrorists in a high-rise building at a Christmas party, the results are unforgettable. In this Die Hard beat sheet, we’ll show you how the screenplay fits Victor Piñeiro’s Screenplay Method …

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Dude, Where's My Car? Beat Sheet by Plottr
You might not expect that a slacker comedy cult classic would follow any type of writing beat sheet or story framework (“Rules, what?”). In this Dude, Where’s My Car? beat sheet, we’ll show you how the movie fits within the context of Dan Harmon’s Story Circle plot structure—no secret hand signs required. And then? Well, that’s up …

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Hamlet Beat Sheet (Plot Guide) - Plottr
William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet has influenced storytellers for centuries, with a “revenge plot” that modern stories like Dune, The Story of Edward Sawtelle, and The Lion King have reimagined to great effect. In this beat sheet, you’ll see how in Hamlet plot serves as an excellent example of the Freytag’s Pyramid story structure. Just be …

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Jack and the Beanstalk Story Beat Sheet (Plot Guide) - Plottr
Did you know the basic plot of Jack and the Beanstalk, first published in 1734, may be over 5,000 years old? You can read the English fairy tale for free here. We’ll diagram the plot in this Jack and the Beanstalk beat sheet using Freytag’s Pyramid narrative structure.
Oedipus Rex, written by the great dramatist Sophocles circa 496-406 BC, is the Greek tragedy which Aristotle considered the best. This beat sheet looks at how the classic play’s plot fits Blake Harmon’s Story Circle plot structure, bringing us from the familiar through discovery and back to where we began—changing everything we thought we knew …

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The Gift of the Magi Beat Sheet (Plot Guide) - Plottr
One of the most enduring American short stories of the 20th century, “The Gift of the Magi” (published by O. Henry in 1905) is well worth studying—you can even read it for free. In this gift of the magi beat sheet, we’ll show you how the story’s plot fits neatly into the W Plot structure. …

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Hunger Games Beat Sheet (Plot Guide) - Plottr
Originally a novel by Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games is a superbly plotted story, from the exposition that offers excellent worldbuilding to the satisfying conclusion that leaves room for a sequel. In this beat sheet, we’ll explore how The Hunger Games plot closely follows the Hero’s Journey story structure made famous by Christopher Vogler. May the (writing) odds …

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The Lion King Beat Sheet (Plot Guide) - Plottr
One of the great coming-of-age stories of the 20th century, The Lion King reimagines the plot of Shakespeare’s Hamlet for a younger audience—with some great animation to boot. Use this The Lion King beat sheet to see how the plot of Disney’s famous movie matches up to the beats of classic Three Act Structure.
The Notebook is a romance novel with a heartwarming plot written by the king of mainstream romantic fiction, Nicholas Sparks. Adapted into a movie in 2004, the story is still a fan favorite years later. With its flashbacks and heartfelt scenes, the story fits the Romancing the Beat plot structure by Gwen Hayes extremely well. …

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