How Do I Plan a Book? – August Writing Tips #7

Idea polished. Research done. You’ve read all you can read. Time to plan. Some stages I go through in planning.

Initial Notes


I’ve begun these in the ideas and research stage. I’ll refer to them and add to them as I write. I note down everything, chapter ideas, names, title, metaphors, devices, character profiles, themes.

Rough Drafts


As ideas come to me, I don’t want to start typing, but I don’t want to miss the sentences forming in my noggin. So often my writing starts in notebooks amongst my scribbled notes. Often this is just a paragraph or sentence. Sometimes a whole chapter comes out this way

Chapter Breakdown


I usually plan my plot by giving some narrative structure to my ideas in a chapter breakdown. This is changeable – very changeable! I convert this to a working document (that I colour code – the geek in me coming out!). This document then forms the bulk of my notes, what made the cut, and is the main thing I refer to throughout the writing of the novel, particularly in the latter stages.


All my pictures are from different novels, so don’t try to draw together any plot from the four!


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