How to structure PLOT AND PACING pt. 2

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Beat sheets! I just found out these are a thing that exist. Here is a site that explains what they are, gives you downloadable Excel templates to use, and a plethora of other articles on plotting. (Linked to in the External Link or Google "NaNo Wrap-Up: Beat Sheets 101")

Basically it's those 3-act story-structures you see all the time with inciting incident, pinch points, midpoint, etc. But since these are in Excel, you type in the word count for your entire novel and it'll calculate approximately at what word count you should have each plot point, or beat. THESE ARE SUGGESTED APPROXIMATIONS. NOT A HARD-AND-FAST RULE. Let me repeat that: THESE ARE SUGGESTED APPROXIMATIONS. NOT A HARD-AND-FAST RULE.

Beat sheets are a tool to point out where you might have a pacing problem or missing/extra beats. If your story doesn't fit to the 3-act structure, don't force it to fit. If you legitimately think a 3 act structure would serve your story for the better, then go for it. No computer program or worksheet can tell you how to structure your story. But sometimes they can help highlight problem areas.

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