Plan Your Novel In 10 Quick And Easy Steps
If you are planning on writing your first novel it is so difficult to know where to start after all it is a huge task! Do you start with the characters? How do you flesh out the plot? When and where do you put the climax of your story?
It’s important to have a plan sorted before you begin to write, but once your book is written you will also need a plan for publication. Obviously for your first print run you may want to consider hardback book printing using book printing services that specialise in print on demand books.
Let’s take a look at the steps to take your novel from conception to publication.
Step 1 – Your Initial Summary
Summarise your novel in one sentence. Try not to concentrate too much on detail at this point, otherwise your sentence may well turn into a paragraph or more!
Step 2 – Split your story into parts
This is a great time to consider Freytag’s Pyramid which details narrative structure. Essentially any story has five parts:
- The Exposition
- Rising action
- Falling action
- Catastrophe, denouement, resolution, or revelation.
Think about your sentence starter from Step 1 and split the basic plot of your story into one of each of the headings above. Write no more than a paragraph on each of the stages of your narrative.
Step 3 – Characters
At this point you will have a better idea of the main characters that come into play during your plot.
Write some information on each of the characters you have identified. Character aspects to include are their name, their storyline, their perspective on the plots, their goals, motivation, areas of conflict and any change that you expect to befall them in the course of your novel.
Step 4 – Add more detail to your narrative structure
Go back to the narrative structure you wrote in Step 2 and add more detail, considering the characters you have created in Step 3. This is a great time to consider the use of plot devices such as playing with the notion of time.
For example, would you like to add flashbacks to your narrative structure? When and where will they go? How do they add to the rising action or climax stages of your plot?
Step 5 – Review your Characters
Once you have added more detail to your structure, you will need to go back and add to and adjust your character synopsis. This is where you will really start to turn your characters from 2D ideas into 3D representations. What does each character look like? What do they like to eat? Do they have any idiosyncrasies and behaviours or habits particular to them?
Step 6 – Write your Scene Plan
Using both your narrative structure and character synopses, now is the time to write a scene by scene plan of your novel. You may find it easier to consider a chapter by chapter plan first and then consider different scenes within each chapter to split the story down further.
Consider what happens in which scene, who is telling the story, an omniscient narrator or one of your characters with their own perspective on the scene? Consider key areas of conflict within the scenes themselves and how the scenes will connect to each other providing flow throughout the novel.
Step 7 – Start Writing
Using your Scene by Scene Plan start to write your novel, refer to the narrative structure and character synopses to help you.
Step 8 – Proof, Edit, and Re-Draft
It’s unlikely anything in life is going to be right first time and the same goes for writing your novel. Once your first draft is written you will need to proofread, edit, and re-draft your work. It’s often helpful to ask a trustworthy and knowledgeable friend to help at this stage as they may see errors that you have missed.
Step 9 – Publication
If this is your first novel you may well want to consider using book printing services to bring your first book to fruition. Whether you are interested in hardback book printing or children’s book printing – there are a variety of cost-effective options when it comes to print on demand books.
Step 10 – Promotion
Don’t forget to market your book! No one will be able to read it if they don’t know it exists!
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