“Four” Page Treatment

Today was another oddly arranged day.  I had to get to an OBGYN appointment super early to check on a mass on my ovaries to see if it’s growing, so everything was thrown back.  Add to that the fact that I only got 2.5 hours of sleep, so after I’d done MOST of my to do list, I crashed and napped for four hours.  Good thing I work from home.  Now that I’ve done my writing, I’m on to work on an art piece.  But first, my work for the day:

I finished up the bio I didn’t finish yesterday, a simple background for a secondary character.  Once that was done I set out to complete a Four Page Treatment, based in Syd Field-style, only I don’t care if I go over a bit (I usually do).

I got 1113 words (and about 4.5 pages) of the plot down.  It’s just a very, very basic idea of the full story from start to finish with important details and a few specific scenes.  It helps me start materializing the action and plot points.  As usual, while writing the four page treatment, I get ideas for scenes.  So I now have 12 scene cards.

Since I try to shoot for roughly 1200 word scenes, I need approximately 58 cards for the 70k book.  I tend to write all 58 scene cards then putting them into a very clear order, but often I end up changing things down the road.  You don’t want to be too rigid, especially because better ideas always come!

So that was my day today!  The Four Page Treatment can be fast in some cases and painfully slow in others.  It depends on how clear the story is to you.  If you’re struggling, just start thinking of the cool scenes you want to write and work backwards, asking “how do I get there?”

And if you’re using the Syd Field instructions to create it, remember that is just one way of doing it.  I don’t follow his instructions exactly.  It’s just a guide.

“Four” Page Treatment

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