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27.09.2013 14:56    Comments: 0    Categories: Writing Plot      Tags: lynn viehl  novel plotting  template  

This template can be used to draft a novel written for any genre. Each genre has a particular focus, so if you're writing SF adventure, the main conflict would be a problem which occurs sometime in the future (or past, or in an alternate universe, etc.) If you're writing romance, the main conflict would be the developing relationship between the hero and heroine. If you're writing a mystery, the main conflict would be the crime involved, etc.

The word "protagonist" is also generic – you can obviously have more than one, if your book is told from several POVs.

Each block can represent any chapter length. Since I usually write twenty chapters per book, each block covers two chapters of my story. You don't have to tell the story in this exact order, either. If it's more important to have an element of block seven appear before another in block six, switch them around. My only advice is to keep the progression even; don't move too many elements too far in either direction.

Using a template is like consulting a map for driving directions – it will get you where you want to go, but there are plenty of interesting side roads along the way. Don't stick to the main highway, do a little exploring on your own -- and feel free to change the template to suit your unique style of storytelling.

Your Novel Title:

Create a Hot Premise – Describe the Story in Ten Words or Less:

Block One -- Establish Your Story Line

1. Describe your protagonist (occupational, emotional, and situational.)

2. What is the main conflict your protagonist faces?

3. Identify the conflict catalyst -- what makes it affect your protagonist?

 

What does your protagonist decide to do now?

Block Two -- Supporting Story Elements, Crisis #1

1. Briefly describe your supporting characters.

2. What is/are the subplots of your story?

3. Identify crisis #1 (escalation of the main conflict, or how does it get worse?)

Block Three -- Conflict Response/Subplot Weaving #1

1. How does your protagnist react to crisis #1?

2. Which of your supporting characters reacts to crisis #1, and how?

3. Which of your subplots comes into play now, and how?

Block Four -- Conflict Escalation #2/Conflict Response

1. Identify crisis #2 (second escalation of main conflict, or how does it
change/get worse?)

2. How does your protagonist react to crisis #2?

3. Which of your supporting characters react to crisis #2, and how?

Block Five -- Present the subplot(s) catalyst(s)/obstacle(s)

1. Describe how the subplot(s) escalate.

2. How does the subplot(s) escalation affect your protagonist in relation to the supporting characters?

3. What is the main obstacle to the protagonist solving the main conflict?

Block Six -- Develop supporting Characters/subplot(s); Conflict escalation #3

1. How do the supporting characters deal with the protagonist's response to subplot escalation?

2. How do the subplots affect the main conflict?

3. Identify crisis #3 (third escalation of the main conflict, or how does it change/get worse?)

Block Seven -- Protagonist/Supporting character response to crisis #2; subplot weaving #2

1. How does the protagonist react to crisis #3?

2. How do the supporting characters react to crisis #3, and protagonist's response?

3. Which of your subplots comes into play now, and how?

Block Eight -- Final conflict escalation, subplot culmination

1. What is the final crisis (describe the final escalation of the main conflict.)

2. How does the final crisis affect the protagonist and the supporting characters?

3. What is the culmination of the subplot(s)?

 

Block Nine -- Response to Final Conflict/Resolution of subplot(s)

1. What is the protagonist's response to the final crisis?

2. What are the supporting characters' responses to the final crisis?

 

3. What is/are the resolution(s) of the subplot(s)?

Block Ten -- Resolution and Conclusion

1. What is the resolution of the main conflict?

2. How does the resolution affect the protagonist and the supporting characters?

3. What is the conclusion of the story?

 


About the Author

 

Lynn Viehl


 
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