The Foolscap Method

Steven Pressfield’s Foolscap Method is way to map out the bare bones of your plot, get you thinking about the narrative itself, and help you consider what your story is about in one page of foolscap paper.

If you haven’t yet given the Foolscap Method a try, I highly recommend it, even if you are already in the midst of writing something. It takes only a few minutes to do, and it saved me hours of wondering what comes next, or having to rewrite my story in the first person because it works better this way.

If you only take one thing out of the Foolscap Method, let it be Pressfield’s “step four: theme”, also known as what is the story about. It really helps focus my writing to nail this down as early as possible.

Even though Pressfield recommends breaking the story rather arbitrarily into three acts, and I do so, I find this the weakest point of the Foolscap Method. It would likely be more productive to just list the major scenes that you need to go through from the “Inciting Incident” to the story’s climax. For obvious reasons this is also when I prefer to note the inciting incident and the climax, rather than at the very end, as Pressfield does.

Finally, here’s the post on Pressfield’s blog where he discusses the Foolscap method, what it is and why he uses it.

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The Foolscap Method

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