Rescuing Cats

I’m not even going to mention the events at the capitol yesterday. I’ve been trying to focus on staying busy. It’s the only way I can manage my anger at the moment.

I’ve been working on a short story, or so I thought. But it continues to grow, and I like where it’s going. So, I thought, it’s a novella. But wait–how long is a novella? What about a novelette? (WTF is a novelette?)

I’d been thinking about Blake Snyder’s (in)famous Beat Sheet from his screenwriting manual, Save the Cat, did some Googling, and found a handy site called the Beat Sheet Calculator where you can enter the desired page count of whatever you’re working on, and it’ll suggest the points at which each of Snyder’s beats should happen.

I prefer to think in terms of word count, so as I entered the various page counts of short story, novelette, novella, and novel into the calculator, I converted to word count. One thing led to another, and I ended up with a reference tool for fiction word count guidelines, based on the B.S. Beat Sheet.

I spent more time constructing it than it should have taken me, but I’m now a passable user of Apple’s Keynote app. Anyway, in case this is useful to anyone, I’ll share it here.

Don’t let yourself be bound by things like this–it’s only an adaptation of one person’s rule of thumb. However, I’ve found it useful as a guide to structuring stories. If it’s helpful, let me know. If you find errors, or think of a way to improve it, I’d love to hear about it.