How to plot a novel

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how to plot a novel

Best Books on Plot Structure (21 books)

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Published 09.04.2019

my favourite novel plotting method: the plot embryo

How To Plot Your Novel, Part One: Series Overview

One of my favorite ways to outline or plan a story is to map it out like a subway or road map. Each road or subway line represents a different story-thread or plot line. The dots exits on the highways or subway stops represent different scenes or moments in the story. Black dots represent local exits or subway stops moments that apply only to that one storyline while the white dots indicate moments where two or more plot lines intersect. By mapping your story out in this way, you can tease apart the different plot threads in your story and make sure that each story arc makes sense in terms of build-up and tension.

What I like about this technique:

Show less You might have a great idea for a story, but plotting it out can still be difficult.

Is it your dream to become a best-selling author? Have you spent countless afternoons daydreaming about selling a million copies? If so, you probably have the motivation it takes to write a great novel. Every great novel has a good plot, full of suspense and endless ups and downs. If you want to hit the big time with your novel, you will need to focus on your plot structure. While we can't provide a formula for a guaranteed bestseller, we can offer a few basic plot rules that can ease your journey down that road toward a good plot.

Learning how to plot a novel is one of the toughest parts of being a writer. I swear that after more than twenty-five full-length novels, I still feel like there is so much more to learn! If you are like me and you need to have an idea of the outline and plot of your novel before you start writing, then you are in for a treat! Here is what we will cover:. Watch it here:.

Show less Though some writers actively avoid plot outlines, preferring instead to let their ideas flow as they write, creating a plot outline before you dive in can help you get a better sense of your story. It can act as a roadmap for you as you write about your setting, your characters, and describe the major events in the story. A plot outline can also be useful if you hit a wall while writing your story and want to get a better sense of where to write to next. To write a plot outline or plot diagram, draw a short horizontal line on a piece of paper to represent the exposition, which introduces the characters.


  1. Charmaine G. says:

    Hi, I'm Sarra!

  2. Sehincivel says:

    Plotting a novel from scratch – imagining the whole thing in your head before you start – that's hard. Or, scratch that, it's pretty much impossible. So don't do it.

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