Planning?

How do I plan my novel?

There are some super easy ways to plan and start working on your novel in progress, but it all starts with the question: Are you a planner? 

Personally, I am not. I wing most of my writing. The most planning I will do is jot notes down on a sticky note to remember for later, or maybe make a word documents with brief character bios and a vague description of my plot. At least, that’s how I do things. (And I totally know that I SHOULD plan, I’m just stubborn).

If you Are a planner, here’s what I suggest:

  1. Know how you learn. If you are a physical learner, use index cards, physical writing, and bulletin boards to outline your plots and characters. Color coordination also helps with this. If you are more of a list learner, then open a document and make some lists. This is a simple and efficient way to see your novels contents on a screen.
  2. Summary. One good thing to always do is create a summary. It doesn’t have to be long or elaborate, it is simply a sum-up of what your book will be about. This will help you stay focused and if you need to change it, will help shape the direction of your novel.
  3. Character Work. It helps to have a good handle on your characters, even if they are going to die in the end. Write their backgrounds, quirks, interest, relations to other characters, and where you want to take them in the end. These bios can be used for reference later.
  4. The Skeleton. When you set up each chapter, write down the most important events that will happen. Whether it be someone dying, entrance of a love interest, a car crash, or someone is born, this is the bare bones of what each chapter will entail. This way, it keeps you focused on the bigger picture rather than caught up in small details.
  5. Filling In. From here, you can fill in your chapter with the little occurrences that happen. This will give your chapters body and voice, while still highlighting the major events. This also gives you the chance to engage your readers and further your plot.
  6. Re-Read. Go back into your work and look it over. If there are things that are left undone, or more events you want to add, this is the time. After all, this is only a first draft so it won’t be a masterpiece right away. If you go back and find things to be wrong or things you straight-up don’t enjoy, mark it down or fix it right away so you can move forward with your work without becoming distracted.

Finally, take advantage of momentum and challenges. Lots of writers use NaNoWriMo as a driving factor in their writing. If you are one of these people, keep doing so! Having motivation behind your work is key for any author!

I hope this was insightful! Have questions you want answered, leave a comment or ping me 🙂

-Lyds

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