Are you a writer looking to craft a compelling and well-structured novel? If so, you’ll want to make sure that you take the time to plot your story before you start writing.

Plotting a novel is a crucial step in the writing process. It helps you organise your ideas and create a clear, structured story.

At Hackney and Jones, we have tried both plotting and winging it and we know by a LONG SHOT which we prefer – and why.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the top four reasons why plotting a novel is so important, and how it can help you create a better story that resonates with readers

Plotting a novel is a crucial step in the writing process because it helps you organise your ideas and create a clear, structured story.

There are several reasons why plotting a novel is best:

It helps you avoid plot holes: Plotting allows you to think through your story and identify any potential plot holes or inconsistencies before you start writing. This can save you a lot of time and effort in the long run, as you won’t have to go back and rewrite large sections of your novel to fix these issues. You really don’t want to have sent your novel off to your editor and then have it returned to fix LOTS of plot holes that end up taking hours, days and weeks to the point you want to give up – we have been there!

It helps you create a clear narrative arc: A well-planned plot helps you create a satisfying narrative arc for your characters. It allows you to build tension and conflict, introduce plot twists and subplots, and ultimately resolve the main storyline in a satisfying way.

It helps you stay on track: When you plot your novel, you create a roadmap for your writing. This can help you stay focused and avoid getting sidetracked or bogged down in unnecessary details (or filler as we call it). It can also help you determine the best order in which to present your ideas, so that your story flows smoothly and logically.

It helps you write faster: Because you have a clear plan in place, plotting can help you write faster and more efficiently. You’ll know exactly what needs to happen in each scene and can focus on bringing those events to life, rather than trying to figure out what should happen next.

When you write faster and clearer, the process is way more enjoyable, trust us!

Ok, so how do I actually plot my novel?

Here are some actionable steps you can follow to plot a novel:

Start with an idea: Before you start plotting, you’ll need to have an idea of what your novel is about. This could be a general concept or theme, or it could be a specific character or event.

Create a premise: Once you have an idea, the next step is to turn it into a premise. A premise is a one-sentence summary of your story that outlines the main conflict or goal of your novel.

Develop your characters: Next, you’ll want to think about your characters. Who are they? What are their goals, motivations, and conflicts? How will they change over the course of the story?

Create an outline: Once you have a clear idea of your characters and premise, it’s time to create an outline. An outline is a detailed plan of your story that breaks it down into individual scenes or chapters.

Build your plot: Now it’s time to start filling in your outline with specific plot points. Think about the key events that will drive your story forward, as well as any subplots or secondary characters that will help to round out your narrative.

Revise and refine: Once you have a rough outline in place, it’s time to revise and refine it. Look for plot holes or inconsistencies, and make sure that your plot makes sense and flows smoothly.

Start writing: With your plot in place, it’s time to start writing your novel! Use your outline as a guide, but be open to making changes or adjustments as you go. This is where creativity comes in. Some people believe that plotting removes the creativity, but we think the opposite as you now feel that whatever idea you think of, you now have the confidence to turn it into a novel! Exciting times!

Don’t be afraid to revise and refine your plot as you go, and be open to making changes as you learn more about your story and characters

Check these out:

Dustin Lance Black video – this video literally changed my life when it came to plotting our debut novel ‘Meet Me At 10’

Our novel outline workbook:

With our step-by-step guide, you’ll go from blank page to publishing in no time. We’ll help you plot your novel with ease, creating plot twists, unforgettable characters, and incredible endings that will keep your readers hooked from beginning to end.

Our workbooks are designed to take the guesswork out of novel writing. We’ll provide you with all the tools you need to craft a compelling story that’s sure to impress.

Check out the series here: Write a Winning Fiction Book Outline

In conclusion, plotting a novel is an important step that can help you create a well-structured, engaging story that resonates with readers. It may take some time and effort to create a plot, but it will pay off in the end by making the writing process smoother and more enjoyable.

Happy Plotting!

See you in the next one…

Vicky & Claire x

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