some recent Easy Way to Write chat sessions
I've been banging on about building novel
templates assuming everyone knows what
Im talking about!
I sometimes forget that not everyone out
there has read The Easy Way to Write a
Really? How bizarre! Go here to remedy this
potentially dire situation:
Easy Way to Write a Novel
for the benefit of those who want to know how
to go about constructing simple plans for
their novels, here's a simplified version of
what's in the book.
First, know your characters inside out, work
through a rough story outline either in your
head or on paper, making sure it's your
characters that define the story and not the
other way round.
Okay, so that's the tough bit. Now for the
Get a piece of paper and write 1 to 10 down
the left hand side with plenty of space for
writing in between.
Next to No 1, write Intro.
Next to No 10, write Finale
At No 1, write one sentence, no more,
describing your opening scene.
At No 10, write one sentence describing the
last scene in your book.
For instance, if you were writing a love
story, next to No 1 you might write:
Jane finds herself alone after husband
At No 10, you might write Dirk asks for
Jane's hand in marriage.
It's simplistic I know but that's almost the
Now, against 2 to 9, write down the major
plot points that will take your reader from
the beginning of your novel to the end. These
will act as cues for scenes in your writing.
Now read it through. Is there logic? Does it
seem satisfying? Is there a moral, a point to
If so, good. If not, start again. Its no big
If youre happy with what you've got,
write a couple of words, lines etc. linking
the plot points. These act as more cues for
scenes in your novel.
Next, transfer everything on to PC and begin
to expand on your short sentences.
Start to describe how youre going to
open scenes, what youre going to write
about, what actions take place, what the
various conversations will be about and how
issues might be set up and resolved.
At the end of this process you should have a
draft template for your novel.
Read over if a few times to see if it
includes everything you want to mention in
This is a great exercise for many reasons,
not least that it helps you visualize your
novel in its entirety, probably one of the
best tricks youll ever have to pull as
Not only that, it can help you iron out
problems before you start writing. Too many
writers stumble during their novels because
they run out of steam and can't remember
where it was going, or discover it's now
different from how they imagined it.
I know planning novels is not everyone's idea
of creative bliss. Indeed many writers tell
me they just can't do it, don't want to do
it, and will fight to protect their right to
make up the story as they go along.
Fine. That works for some.
But let me tell you something I've learnt, in
my long career teaching writers to write
With a novel template you are at least twenty
times more likely to finish your novel than
Sobering thought, eh?
So before you dismiss the idea, at least give
the template a fair go.
© Copyright Rob Parnell. All