Novel Planning In 10 Steps

By on February 11, 2021
Novel planning made easy! A girl holds a book to her face.

We all know that when it comes to writing, the key is in planning. While it can be good to try and get your story down as quickly as possible, if you don't spend some time novel planning, considering your concept, and fleshing out your characters, you could end up finding that you lose momentum and inspiration before you get to the end.

Novel planning - are you reading to learn?

All authors are individuals and have their unique ways of working and there isn’t one solution that will suit everyone in terms of a specific approach. However, there are some broader points that are worth paying attention to ensure you have a robust plan that should see you through each stage of the writing process and ensure that your first draft is as good as it could be.

Before you begin, one of the most important things you can do is to get a good notebook. Here is a list of some of the best notebooks writers can buy.

So what are the steps you should take to create a solid novel plan?

Novel planning tip #1 Pinpoint the central concept 

You need to have a crystal clear idea of what it is that is at the heart of your story. Don’t even attempt to start writing until you know this. You should be able to explain the concept in your book in a sentence or two.

Novel planning tip #2 Learn who your reader is

The better you understand your reader, the easier it will be to write a book that appeals to them. So spend some time finding out what kind of people will buy your book.

Novel planning tip #3 Create your blurb

Writing your book blurb can be a great piece of work to do now as it will help you sum up the plot of your book and learn how to make it sounds as exciting as possible. Your blurb can be something that changes as you write your book but getting this written now means you’ll have it to look back on as you develop your story.

Novel planning tip #4 Develop your characters

Don’t just have a vague idea of who will appear in your story. Spend some time now working on who your characters are and their backstories. The better you know your characters, the easier they will be to write. 

Novel planning tip #5 Build your world

Having a vivid picture of the world where your story unfolds can help you write it more naturally and easily throughout. It’s also a good idea to consider the rules of your world, to make sure they are consistent and make sense for your story. 

Novel planning tip #6 Start your research

If your book demands research, getting the bulk of it done now will help you feel more confident as you write and will ensure there aren’t any inconsistencies or glaring errors that go unnoticed and could cause problems later down the line

Novel planning tip #7 Map out your story structure

Before you begin writing your novel there are some choices you must make. Decide whose point of view you will write the story from, whether it is set in the past present, or future, and whether it will only be told from one person's perspective. Once you know this you can then create a timeline of events which will form the outline of your story and ensure that you have a beginning, middle, and an end, 

Novel planning tip #8 Create chapter outlines

Chapter outlines are helpful as they will ensure that you have a well fleshed out story and won’t run out of material halfway through.

Novel planning tip #9 Create a timeline

A timeline will ensure that you remain consistent when writing your book and can be useful to refer back to. It will also ensure there are no clashes or problems that could poke holes in your story. 

Novel planning tip #10 Write!

The last thing to do is start writing. Planning your novel is all well and good but if you spend too much time in the planning stages you’ll never get on with it, so know when enough is enough. 

If you follow the above steps you’ll have a great strategy for novel planning that you can put into action right away, so now it’s time to start writing!

About Beth Cadman

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