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Looking for the Save the Cat Beat Sheet for Novels? Click here!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Save the Cat Beat Sheet Spreadsheet for Novels

A while ago, I talked about how I use the Save the Cat beat sheet to roughly plot out new projects before drafting. The problem for most people, though, is that the beat sheet is for movie scripts that are around 100 pages, and books are significantly longer.

So I decided to share with you my little beat sheet spreadsheet:

Click here to download from Sribd! (Be sure to chose .xlsx format!)
Click here to download the file directly! (For those of you who hate Scribd!)

All you have to do is fill in your title, logline, and projected word count, and it will handle the rest. You can also mark which chapter the beats happen in, in case you need a quick reference.



  1. Sweet!!!! Thank you for making my life easier

  2. I have to start the scary part of writing soon: revising. This is just what I need. Thank you!!!

    This is awesome! Thank you. Love your blog. :-D

    Okay, one (dumb) question, this spreadsheet applies to a double-spaced, 8 x 11 page MS, correct?

    The reason I ask is because once a MS is published these points will end up on vastly different page numbers. I wanted to see how well some of the BEATS, PARTS, & MILESTONES lined up with the (approx.) page numbers in a published version, like a 6x9 format. Some plot points seemd to be okay, while others seemed to be placed too far apart. It did prompt to do more editing. :-D

    So, thoughts? Advise?

  4. The page count is based on 250 words per page, which is standard but like you said, not always accurate. I'm dialogue-heavy, so my words per page is closer to 190-200. 

    But it's an easy fix!

    The page count box (it defaults to 200) is set up like this:

    =(A9/250)which roughly translates to "Box A9 (the box with your wordcount) divided by 250 equals X pages"So if you need to change from standard manuscript format to mass market paperback (300 words per page) or trade paperback format (350-ish words per page), all you have to do is substitute that number in place of the 250.

    =(A9/[WORDS PER PAGE])Hope that helps!

  5. Liz. Thanks so much for posting this. Came over from a link by Debbi Michiko Florence. This looks like something I really need! :)

  6. I loved this so much I blogged about it today (here) so hopefully more people will hear about it! :D

  7. Great link - followed Kat B's post here, looks fab.

  8. Thank you. This beat sheet will really help . I love that it does all of the calculating for me. I found my way here from Jamie Gold's blog.

  9. Fantastic breakdown! I've heard so much about this book and it's funny how I can categorize the novel I'm writing by the points easily - probably a good sign. Thanks for sharing this!

  10. Call me stupid, but I don't get how the page numbers work. Why do some rows have two page number boxes and others only have one? Why do some of the page numbers seem to overlap?

  11. Thank you for sharing your spreadsheet with us. I am now very encourage to start on that book I have been talking about since I was eleven!

  12. God bless you for this Beat Sheet. Just finished reading Save the Cat and was looking for something like this. You're great.

  13. Love. It. You are a life saver!!!!




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