7 Tips for Planning Your Novel

If you are thinking of writing your own novel, you should make sure that you lay the groundwork first. If you just jump into the writing process without any prior planning, you may find yourself floundering during the writing process.

So before you start writing, you should make sure that every aspect of the writing process is laid out. 

Here are 7 Effective tips for planning your novel:

  • Create an efficient outline

First things first, you will need to create an efficient and effective outline of your novel. Think of the outline as the bones or the framework of your story, and it is your job to fill it with key details. When you create an outline, it is important that you have a strategy.

It would be a good idea to make a rough draft for each phase of the story. It does not need to be a detailed draft. You just need to fill in the key events, setting and the characters that will be used in each phase of the story. That way, once you start the writing process, you will know exactly what you should write about. 

Overall, your outline will serve as your guide throughout the writing process.

  • Develop your characters

When it comes to writing your very own novel, characters are key. They are the main focal point of your story. The entire storyline will revolve around them, and they are also a key factor whether your potential readers will like your book or not.

So take the time to develop your cast of characters. This is especially true for your protagonist, because he or she is the main character in your story. Your protagonist should not only be likeable, but relatable and realistic as well. 

Overall, your protagonist should be as memorable as possible.

The same care and forethought should also be taken when you write about your other cast of characters. Don’t make characters just to fill a role. Give them unique personality traits, unique physical characteristics and their own motivations. 

Overall, when you are writing your characters, you should make a sort of dossier for your characters. The more detailed the better.

  • Come up with a great antagonist and conflict

Aside from your protagonists, you should also take care in crafting your antagonist. Without an antagonist, your novel will have no source of conflict. In many ways, the antagonist is just as important as the protagonist. 

Avoid using clichés when you make your antagonist. He or she must be unique, and is capable of capturing your reader’s attentions.

When you plan out your novel, you should also make sure that your conflict is as realistic as possible. You should make sure that you set up the conflict organically. Make sure that there are events and reasons that support why the conflict is taking place in the first place.

  • Cultivate a fitting setting 

When you create the setting for your novel, it should be as detailed as possible. You just can’t dump your characters in an area without describing it first. For example, your novel takes place in the woods.

It is very simple to say that your novel takes place in the woods, however you should describe it in as much detail as possible. What type of trees grow there? The climate? What animals live there? Do these woods have a backstory? By cultivating a setting for your novel, you’ll be able to make your novel more multi-faceted.

  • Create a comprehensive timeline

If you want your story to make chronological sense, it is important that you make a comprehensive timeline. By having a comprehensive timeline, you’ll be able to keep track of all the events in your novel.

It does not really need to be overly detailed. When you make your timeline, you should just add the characters, motives and specific events that happen. This will allow you to pinpoint each and every twist and turn of your storyline.

By making a timeline for your work, you will be able to keep tabs on the overall storyline, no matter what changes you make.

  • Come up with a great conclusion

When it comes to plotting your novel, the most important part is your conclusion. The conclusion is the event that your entire novel is leading up to. This means that your conclusion should be a truly satisfying one.

Nothing annoys readers more than reading 15 to 20 chapters, only to find a very dissatisfying conclusion at the end. When you make your conclusion you should make sure that you tie all of the loose ends, and give all the characters in your story a satisfying conclusion.

When you plot out your novel, it is important that you already have a set conclusion in mind. You can change it any time of course, this is your novel. However, if you do make any changes it is important that there are no inconsistencies in your overall storyline. 

Make sure there are no loose threads, or open ended stories that will have your readers scratching their heads.

  • Have a set writing schedule for yourself

Aside from planning out your outline and making dossiers for your characters, it is also important that you map out your writing sessions. Writing a novel can be very time consuming, and there will be times where you would feel overworked.

The writing process will creep into other aspects of your life if you are not careful. So before you start the writing process, take the time to create a writing schedule for yourself. By doing so, you will be able to write more consistently in the long run.

Writing a novel is a very multifaceted process, and it can be very easy to get confused the more you write. Luckily, with these tips you will be able to stay focused throughout the writing process.


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