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23.02.2013 12:24    Comments: 0    Categories: Novel Writing      Tags: trisha bartle  planner's  guide  novel writing  outlining  

Do you want to write a novel? While it may seem like something special, many people feel the same way. Unfortunately, few of them ever actually achieve their goals. Just by coming to this article, with the hopes of writing a novel, you are already well ahead of those other dreamers.


How do you ensure success? Take it seriously. Novel writing is some tough business. It takes a long time and the rewards are often limited in the end. To increase your chances of completing your novel, you'll need to plan ahead. Here's how:

 

Gather up necessary materials.

 

You're going to need a few things for your novel planning. While you can keep everything on your computer, you can actually create more motivation by printing it out. Because of this, you should keep your information in any of the following:

  • A binder with loose leaf paper.
  • Sections in that binder for plot, characters, settings, and other aspects of your story.
  • 3 by 5 note cards.
  • Spiral notebooks with perforated, detachable paper.

The bottom line is to keep organized. If you feel better organizing with note cards, choose that method. Just make sure that you can separate them into different categories.

 

Plan each aspect of your novel.

 

Using your planning method, whether notebooks or a binder, you should start planning out the various aspects of your novel. Every good novel has at least two characters, a major plot, at least one side plot, and at least one setting. Because of this, you'll want to work on these aspects of your story.

 

Here are some other pieces of the novel you might want to plan ahead of time:

  • A detailed timeline of the novel or of the main character's history.
  • Pictures of how you imagine your characters to look like (don't be afraid to use celebrities.)
  • Floor plans of important settings, such as your main character's home, or of the villain's dungeon.
  • A list of questions that the reader will have as they read. Questions are good! It's what keeps us reading. Be sure to write down when you present the question and where in the novel you intend to answer it.

The more information you cultivate before you officially start writing your novel, the better.

 

The benefits of planning your novel.

 

Some writers will tell you that they never plan ahead, they just start writing. This may be fine for those with a lot of experience in novel writing, but may not be a good idea for someone new to the field.

 

The major benefit to planning ahead is that you will have a good idea of what should happen next. You'll avoid any major plot holes in your novel, and your characters will be a lot deeper right from the get-go.

 

Here's some other benefits to planning before novel writing:

  • Writing the novel will go much faster. Outlines and notes help speed up the process.
  • Your notes will help keep you on track.
  • You'll have less chance of getting stuck with writer's block.

About the Author

Trisha Bartle is an accomplished and award-winning freelance writer. You can learn more about her writing in general at her portfolio website: http://www.trishabartle.com/.

 
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