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Outlining as easy as Final Draft 1-2-3

October 11, 2022

Most professional screenwriters will tell you the key to a successful writing process is outlining. Having your story beats mapped out means once you dive into the draft you have the freedom to focus on character, dialogue and action, rather than worrying about where the story is headed. Having an outline doesn’t mean your story is set in stone: most screenplays go through multiple drafts from conception through to production. But having a road map means you can enjoy the scenery along the way, safe in the knowledge that if you take a detour, you can always find your way back to the main road.

Final Draft 12 makes outlining even easier with the Final Draft 1-2-3 process. Using the 1-2-3 workflow, you can brainstorm a story on the Beat Board™, drag the beats to the Outline Editor™ to get a bird’s eye view, then send that outline to your script, where it can be fleshed out right on the page.

Most scripts utilize the classic Hollywood three-act structure. At its core, the three-acts represent a beginning, a middle, and an end.

Several related scenes are needed in an act to tell the story. These related scenes are called Sequences, and within a sequence you will find a series of events driving your story forward, also known as Beats.

In the Beat Board you can add beats and connect them using Flow Lines. These beats are then transferred to the Outline Editor, where multiple lanes allow you to move the beats around, change their size, and see how they look across the entirety of your screenplay.

Once you have completed developing your story structure on the Outline Editor, you can then send the complete outline to the script page. This allows you to see the outline you have created actually within your screenplay document, so you can refer to it easily while writing. You also have the ability to hide the outline as needed, then make it visible when you need to reference it.

This video goes into greater detail about the 1-2-3 Workflow. Learn how to make most of the Story Building Tools Final Draft 12 has to offer, and take your screenplay to a whole new level.

Happy writing!

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