This template could be a huge asset to a busy blogger. To learn more, this post goes in-depth into the benefits of this particular kind of outline. Josh Fechter is the founder of The Product Company and has spent 10 years in product marketing and writing software tutorials. For some, that could be a very brief outline consisting of nothing more than a handful of words. For those of you who already have Scrivener, you know this comes bundled with the software. But you had to write your synopsis first. Examples of beat sheets are here and here. These are maintained on the off chance you may need or want to readdress them for some reason. In this “How to Structure Scenes in Your Story” series (which is the basis for the second half of my award-winning book Structuring Your Novel and its companion Structuring Your Novel Workbook), you’ll learn:. Includes examples of the scene lists from famous authors. The Chronological Method Become a member today to discover how we can help you publish a beautiful book. PRO-TIP: Want to find out which famous author you write like? A story outline can guide your writing to The End #amwriting, Step 3: Troubleshooting your story outline, How to create a book outline (and more tips) in three easy steps #amwriting, eight of the best character development exercises, Everything you wanted to know about starting and building scenes in this post #amwriting, Check out J.K. Rowling's book outline for Order of the Phoenix — and more #amwriting, Get a free book outline template! This conclusion is reached due to an observation that there exists a common pattern in the narrative elements of nearly all great myths. The particulars can be revised at your convenience, but that’s how I set it up. Do you want a mind map to visualize the spatial relationships? Ria O'Donnell is the director of Novel Suite. It can sometimes be easier to structure your scenes using visual aids instead of relying on lists and written notes. Some of mine are: the project notebook, a three-ring binder for novel research, a style sheet listing names and places and special words, and most important, a scene list. If you’re new to the genre, check out RWA. But at its core, a story is made up of one basic kind of unit: scenes. For example, some of the stages are: The spreadsheet also gives you an idea of where you should be in terms of word count. There isn’t enough time to read all the books we’d like to read, and if an author has lost you in the first chapter, that doesn’t bode well for the rest of the book. On one side, mark B (for Beginning). There’s a lot of research and planning to goes into a modern murder mystery, and there’s a spot within the template for nearly anything you could think of at this stage. Browse to template file and add it. The concept behind the Snowflake Method is that great novels don’t just happen. Identify Its Purpose. A visual approach to outlining that shows the spatial relationships between your plot points, characters, themes, conflicts, chapters — you name it. The Snowflake Method encourages you to start thinking about your scenes from a granular point of view — and then build up from there. Got a map? How do your scenes fit into your narrative arc. Scene Outline . Don’t let the naysayers fool you: a story outline is the closest thing to a “get out of jail free” card in the long game of novel-writing. Or have you completely lost its thread? Here are eight of the best character development exercises that you can use to check your understanding of your book’s cast. Finally, in act three our hero knows what’s necessary to succeed and overcomes all odds to do so. Every writer isn’t a novelist. So it’s not surprising she is also a proponent of outlining. This is the first stone that’s going to make up the foundation of your novel — and you want it to be sturdy. We also discuss some book outline templates I haven’t mentioned here in another post. This comprehensive template will insure you don’t miss any plot points. He provides an Idea Creation section that has even more templates based on some of his favorite methods and formats, like the Snowflake Method or Truby’s Anatomy of Story. If you’re still learning how to write a book and you’re contemplating writing romance, why not see what the Romance Writers of America has to say about the genre. Get them right, and your story and novel will not only very likely sell but will probably also build you a following of dedicated readers. You do need to subscribe to Bryan’s mailing list to get his template, but in my opinion, it’s well worth it. There is a template for novels having different parts. In this video, she covers the following and more: Using the spreadsheet, you are taken through different stages and scenes. Benefits of Using a Novel Outline Template. Other scene structure approaches: Building scenes in your novel visually. The plot structures below are available as free downloadable PDFs, but there is a better way to use them. Don’t overthink it or go too deep into the meat of the scenes just yet — jotting down quick notes will do. There’s even lots of color coding. Adding folders and sections for marketing and promotion is a unique plus. I did find a last-minute bonus screenplay template though. Now turn to your central conflict and start visualizing its major turning points on your line. All good fiction follows a special developmental arc. Regardless of format, this outline is based on Gwen’s book of the same name. Seven Point Plot Structure Archives – contains individual folders for each month of the year gone by. 4 Part Novel Template. The spreadsheet provides the benefit of tracking where you are in terms of word count. Here's a free course on character development if you'd like to dive into it. This novel outline comes to you from writer Jennifer Mattern. Sure you’re going to introduce your main character here, but you need to grab the attention of your readers and hold on to it. Like books, authors and their writing styles are unique and numerous. It’s a free download, no signup necessary. Without groundwork, your scenes (and story) will collapse in on itself. This folder acts as a repository for ideas you may have had and discarded, revisions, drafts, and so forth. What kind of writer are you? Feel free to download them for your use and alter them however you need! A scene list is primarily useful as a prewriting or editing tool. Where would that then take the story? Even those who hate to outline will agree to this. The “Tent Pole” Method What characters are in the scene? If so, agents and publishers will often request a synopsis of your book. For those who don’t maybe this will be some extra incentive to buy it. Many of my clients have gone on to write terrific novels using this scene template. Just kidding — we’re just going to test the waters and drop your character in a couple of different scenarios. Setup That Must Be Fulfilled Later (Magenta), Payoff: New Info/Revelations That Turn the Plot (Green), Straightforward Facts That Don’t Turn the Plot (Magenta), Character Evolution Turning Point (Dark Blue). In this section, we’ll look at all the things you need to do to find the right outlining system for yourself. Documents the beats of the story in shorthand. A holistic story outline that gives a brief overview of the story’s plot, characters, conflicts, and themes in a two- to three-page paper. Get started now. If you follow this, you are pretty much mirroring her footsteps as she builds her story. This Month’s Post’s folder, which includes the following: Future Blog Posts – individual folders for the months still to come. Below is a collection of other author’s templates for you to use: Novel Templates: Mystery Novel Scrivener Template. Some genres have very specific structures and arcs that need to be developed and followed. Make it specific and practical with this book as your guide. Though they might not rely on a strictly detailed novel outline, they may want to sketch out a skeleton of plot points. Then you have some serious problems, and it really doesn’t matter what you think of your story. has updated the template to include info from her book Creating Character Arcs and a folder system that she personally uses for keeping track of her notes. Rescue: From the Prince’s POV, he must rescue Cinderella from the clutches of her evil step-mother. This one is provided courtesy of Eva Deverell. Many great movies are built on the Hero’s Journey premise. Be sure to preserve your narrative arc as you go to give your story purpose and direction. If you post to more than just your own blog, the included binder can be used as an editorial calendar, allowing you to quickly order and arrange your posts. Now that you’re equipped, we can ask the million-dollar question: how do you outline a novel? Write a single, big picture sentence that summarizes your novel. However, they might not yet know what precise colors they’re going to use. Then bring out your highlighter — and be ready to be as ruthless as a cranky teacher wielding a red pen. Many prefer to write using a word processor, whether paid or free. He also includes what he calls an Obsolete Files folder, which I think is an excellent idea. 29 Plot Points introduces the idea of how to structure your novel with plot templates. Scene-by-Scene Outlining Template Scene # ____ Locale: Time of day: Time of year: Weather: How much time passed since previous scene with this character: POV character for the scene: Scene Summary: What main way is the story advanced? Or at least give you a vehicle to help you get together everything you need in order to write your book. You need this chart. With this … 1. If you’re new to a genre, an outline could be very helpful. Folders for every component of your novel. It’s much easier to write a synopsis when you already have an outline. 8 Plot Outline Templates - Free Downloadable PDFs. You won’t be leading your readers in confusing circles. Equally important are the walls of your novel: your characters. A blogger and mystery writer, Jennifer writes both by means of an outline. Clearly, there’s a lot more involved than that. Use the color coding to aid you in keeping track of any foreshadowing setups and payoffs. This kind of writer will know how many rooms are going into the house, where the sink’s going to be, and what kind of wallpaper they’re going to use. (And we’ll give you examples of the outlines that J.K. Rowling, Joseph Heller, and more created to plan their books later in this post.) It forces you to map out the actual structure of your story, down to the very building blocks, and then gives you an easy place to spot errors or weak points, to tinker and rearrange. You’ll be sure to hit all the key plot points of a good mystery novel. Remember the two arcs I mentioned above? Most writers are familiar with some of those scenes: the Inciting Incident, the Midpoint, and the Climax, to name a few. If you’re more of a straight thinker, this will be the obvious way to break down the scenes of your book: start from the beginning and proceed linearly. Unless you’re already happy with your present results, you will want to flesh out these light scene sketches and organize them. In creating a Scene Tracker for your individual project, you discover exactly where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Let us know in the comments. Or at least motivate you to write faster.