WB PG 26 BIGSICK 3 index cards


The cover story of the Sept/Oct issue of Written By, the magazine published by the Writers Guild of America West, describes how Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani developed and wrote their Oscar®-nominated screenplay, The Big Sick. It’s a great read about the creative process.

Throughout the article, downloadable below, are photos of the index cards used by the writers for all 15 Blake Snyder story beats. They’re concise, exactly as we teach in our workshops. (Please note: the writers have NOT attended an STC! workshop.)

This is an opportunity for us to show the difference between creating beats before you write your screenplay and the beat sheet analyses we publish on this site and in our books. We publish beat sheets, after a film has been shot, with a complete description of each beat as it plays out in the plot, theme, and character transformation of the story.

But when you are writing the beats as a part of the creative process before writing a word of dialogue, the beats and scene cards should each contain one or two sentences at most.

As you’ll see in the Written By article, The Big Sick beats are as concise as can be.

Enjoy the article!