Every once in a while I read of an idea, and I just don’t get it. The Spark sheet was something I read about, and essentially I dismissed it as, “Um… that’s just plot points. Those already have a name. I know. Intro, first turn, midpoint, second turn, climax, end.”

But as I thought about it and pondered it, I realized there was another way to think of it.

Anything that sparks your interest.


That’s different.

I’d been stuck writing my plot points on some projects. When you write out the first 14 of them, no problem. The next 7, um…

What happens to me, and I suspect a lot of others, is that you’re afraid of choosing the wrong idea for a plot point. When you think, “I’ve only got 15 plot points on this sheet”, you tense up, and are afraid to make the wrong choice.

If you think of it as something that sparks your interest… well then! That’s easy!

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you know  that I’m a proponent of the sequence of save the cat (even for novels), 21 point spark sheet, then a 60 point spark sheet.

Why this sequence? Because this way you’re hammering down your structure, and I can see the story. Once I know how to see the story, I can write the story.

If I only end up with 50 sparks, I’m not to worried. Somewhere between 50-60 is your goal. 48 sparks, not enough.


You need at least 50-60 plot points in your novel or movie. All you have to do is plan out your plot points in an increasing number of sheets to eliminate stress and inhibit creativity. Your last step will be to move this work into Scrivener, and then begin writing.