A NOVEL TEMPLATE

Last time I gave out a template for writing short stories and said that, if expanded, it could also become a template for novels.  This post is to explain a bit about how to do that.  Of course, as always, if your writing method differs from mine, do whatever is right for you.

If you wish, you can change the one-or-two sentence descriptions to one-or-two paragraphs to allow for more depth in your characters and in your story.

The big difference, though, is the part that was glossed over in the short story template.  The part that tells you to construct scenes that connect the beginning scene to the conclusion.  In a short story they will necessarily be short scenes, perhaps a few paragraphs each.  But in a book, instead of outlining scenes, you will outline chapters… the story you want to tell divided into segments leading up to the climax… and each chapter may contain several scenes.

When you write each chapter use the template for short stories as if each chapter was a short story.  Which, in a way, it is.  Because each chapter should have a beginning that will outline the problem of that chapter and propel the characters into action.  And a conclusion.  Not the conclusion of the main problem of the book but the conclusion of the smaller but still significant problem that chapter deals with.  And if it doesn’t deal with a problem intrinsic to the plot, then seriously consider deleting that particular chapter.  And each chapter also needs a conclusion, preferably one that resolves the chapter problem and leads the characters towards the next problem they will face.

And that’s a simplified version of how to write a novel.  More in future posts.

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