Outlining can be a chore, the homework you have to finish before you get to play. With Arc Studio Pro, outlining becomes fun: Collect your ideas, play with your structure and see how it affects your story. In this guide, we will show you how to use this powerful tool effectively.
Your outline consists of beats (important events in your story) and story elements (storylines, characters, and locations). These can be accessed in two ways:
First, we will cover the Outlining Board. More on the Beat Box below.
When you open the board in an empty script, you can choose between:
The board interface shows you your beats organized in acts. You can intuitively move these beats with drag & drop.
You can also access:
Story Elements are:
Each story element has a title, a description, and a color (for color-coding, see below). In addition you can keep track of the following information:
Having added some story elements, we can use them to build our plot. The basic flow when creating a beat outline is as follows:
Here is where setting up our world pays off: When we type “#” inside a beat card, we can tag the beat with our story elements that belong to that beat. With the story elements open, use the up/down arrow keys to move through them and right-arrow to activate that element for that beat.
This will color code your beats, so you can see which elements are utilized in which section of your story: Storylines add a colored bar on the left while characters add circles on the right of your card
You can also drag & drop the beats on your board.
💡 Check out: The Three-Act Structure In Screenwriting
In Arc mode, you can double click a beat marker to select a storyline and move it up or down to indicate how this beat affects your storyline, positively or negatively. Use this to get a visual overview on the dramatic structure of your story.
Once you’ve outlined your story, it is time to write. With your outline handy, you can use the beat box to reference all your material as you write: