Sequence Beat Sheet (4 Sequences)

Introduction

This is a popular way of organizing your story.

It’s simple.

You split your story into four parts and then you organize your scenes in each of the four parts.

This is a common approach to Sequences and helps many people with their Story Design.

You’re going to hear about using 8 Sequences, which is great as well, but it’s only double four.

Some prefer four, others eight, I’ll leave you to decide which works best for you.

This is not a how-to manual for your Sequences, it’s a general outline to get you going in the right direction.

Sequence 1

Ordinary World — Begin the Sequence

  • This is how you start your story, showing your protagonist in the Ordinary World.

Break into Two — End the Sequence

  • The protagonist accepts the call.

Sequence 2

Complication or Diversion — Begin the Sequence

  • You can start with the Protagonist’s first problem (Complication) or with a Subplot (Diversion).

Midpoint — End the Sequence

  • Something incredible happens and we are thrown for a spin as the story changes here.

Sequence 3

Complication or Diversion — Begin the Sequence

NOTE: Because of common structure, many stories have Death happening here.

Break into Three — End the Sequence

  • Something happens here and the Protagonist understands what must be done: Defeat the Antagonist.

Sequence 4

Finale — Begin the Sequence

  • Final Battle between Protagonist and Antagonist.

Denouement — End the Sequence

  • Show how the world’s improved with the Protagonist’s Transformation.
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