How to Plan Your Novel From Start to Finish

Email sent: May 19, 2020 3:33pm

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How to Plan Your Novel From Start to Finish.

Special Issue: How to Plan Your Novel

If you're on this newsletter, there's a good chance you want to write a book. You may have even wanted to write a book for some time.

But going from wanting to write a book to actually writing a book is challenging. I should know—I have tons of ideas. Actual finished drafts on the other hand? Not so many.

If, like me, you struggle to turn your ideas into words, this issue of the ProWritingAid newsletter is for you. In it, we've included all our best resources for going from dream to draft. 

Plus, scroll all the way to the end to snag an invite to our next live free training webinar on May 20th: Dream to Draft.
How to Plan Your Novel Down to the Scene

In the world of novel writing, most authors are familiar with the terms “pantser” and “plotter.” These words are a generic label for your writing process. If you’re a plotter, or what some people call a planner, you spend a lot of time planning your novel before you ever sit down to write.

People who prefer to write by the seat of their pants are pantsers. Some writers prefer the term “discovery writer,” since you discover the story as you write.

Most people fall somewhere in the middle. But author Krystal Craiker is a tried-and-true planner. In this article, she reveals her secret to plotting success: a scene chart.

Learn more on the blog.

How to Stick to Your Book Writing Plan

A book writing plan differs from planning your book. Whereas planning your book is the “what” and might include things like an outline, notecards, maps, timelines, and character descriptions, your book writing plan is the “how”. The how includes the steps to get the work done.

For most people, writing a book isn't as simple as saying, "I'm going to write a book this year." In this article, Michelle Cornish gets practical about how to set (and stick to) a book writing plan.

Read on!

Planner, Pantser or... Gamer? 

Whenever we discuss the writing of a story, we all inevitably settle on the same debate: plotters vs. pantsers.

Plotters, of course, are those who jot down every detail of every scene ahead of writing so that they know exactly what they're doing at all times. Pantsers just go with the flow, allowing themselves to discover the story as they write. But which is better?

In this article, author Tom Meitner posits that there aren't just planners and pansters: there are also gamers, who fall somewhere in between the two. 

Dive into what a gamer is (and why gamers can write great novels) here.

How to Strategically Plan Your Novels

Is writing your career? Or is it a hobby you hope will someday turn into a financially rewarding line of work?

Regardless of where you are on the spectrum of "becoming an author," you need a plan for your business. And trust us—treating your writing like a business will help you make more of it than just a time-sucking hobby.

In this article, we break down how you can strategically plan a year of novel writing... and publishing.
Time Saving Tips for New Novelists 

Starting your first novel is a balance between brainstorming and structure. When you start with your story idea, your head is filled with scenes, snippets of dialogue, and settings. It doesn’t take long to feel overwhelmed.

All those different elements can leave you lost when it comes to actually sitting down and writing your story. It’s easy to lose the path towards your finished draft by writing too much or adding too many characters. That's where planning comes in to save you time and effort.

Check out these steps for planning your novel.
Free Training: Go From Idea to First Draft of Your Novel in 90 Days

Why do some people finish books while others struggle for years, believing that the time will be right “someday?” The only difference between you and writers with finished books is that they kept going, even when it was scary.

In this free event with writing coach Caroline Donahue, we will cover writing routines, setting effective writing goals, staying energized until the end, and balancing writing with the rest of your life.

Let’s get this book written, shall we?
Register for the session
So you are ready to write your novel. Excellent.

Are you prepared? The last thing you want when you sit down to write your first draft is to lose momentum.

With the help of our free guide, you can work out your narrative arc, plan out your key plot points, flesh out your characters, and begin to build your world. Then, when you begin your writing journey, you will have a map to follow along the way.

Download the book now
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