It’s a difficult task to plot out your novel before you begin working on it. Many writers like to jump right into their stories and don’t want to waste time planning it out—which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, discovering your own way to plot your novel might be a valuable writing tool. Here are a few creative ways to plan out your novel:
Fill in the Blanks: Know the 3 scenes that will help you organize your novel. Know the opening scene of your novel, plan out a scene that will happen smack-dab in the middle of your novel, and know how your novel is going to end. This will help you “fill in the blanks” or flesh out what happens in between. With this style of plotting, you don’t need to know everything that’s going to happen. You can plan as you go along, but at least you know where your story is going. This works for people who don’t want to spend a lot of time figuring out the details beforehand.
Build Your Characters: This is an interesting way to plot that focuses solely on character development. When you’re doing your prewriting, figure out how you want your characters to change or grow over the course of your novel—and then let the plot grow from that. I think this gives writers a lot of freedom and the direction your story goes in might surprise you. The story grows from your characters and they’re really in charge. Your story grows organically and your writing might feel less forced.
Chapter-By-Chapter Synopsis: Write a short one-sentence synopsis of each chapter. Explain what’s going to happen like you’re pitching it to a friend. This will give you direction, but you’ll also be able to avoid over-planning. Actually, planning out each chapter takes a good amount of work and you should have a clear direction on where your novel is going.
You can plot or prewrite your novel any way you want, so don’t feel like you need to plan out every moment. Do what works for you!