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What is a Beat?

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“Beat” is a term used a lot when developing or explaining a story. Think of it like a unit of measurement within a story. It is a piece of information that can be conveyed in a quick moment, a sequence, or in an entire scene that moves the story forward. Beats are extremely important in communicating the direction of a story.  Often times when writers are trying to figure out their story, they will use what’s called a beat sheet. A beat can often be described in one sentence. For example, “The big bad wolf blows the straw house down.” This helps the writer determine what’s important in the story and what moments are needed in order to compel an audience.

 

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