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Novel Plot Outline – The Devil’s In The Plot Detail

How to develop a novel plot_featured image

I’m going to give you an example of what I do when I find myself struggling with a plot for my novel.

The first step is to make a list of all the possible things that could happen in the story. This is going to be brainstorming – so write everything down!

The list should include anything and everything – from the events that are happening now, and all the way back in time until you get to where you know how it ends.

When you’ve got your list, the next step is for you to analyse, and go through it all, seeing what things could or should happen in the story.

Make a plan of how everything will fit together. Notice that there is probably at least one or two things that are going to have to happen in order for that plan to work out.

How do you write a plot outline for a novel?

What The Building Blocks of a Novel?

The building blocks of a novel can be defined as the various pieces that make up a story that is written. These pieces are made up of characters, a setting, and events.

There is one main character in the story, who usually has an important role in resolving the conflict or problem at hand. Characters may have an effect on other characters by being someone another character loves or hates.

Characters also have relationships with each other and might fight or work together to solve problems.

The setting of a novel might give clues to what type of book it is because settings can be anything from real world locations to imaginary worlds created by the author for their stories.

Events are part of every day life that happen outside of the history and background knowledge known about a character or place. Events are used to further the plot of a novel, or lead up to certain actions that happen in the story.

If you want to write a novel but don’t know where to start, consider your favorite book and think about what it is that you enjoy about it. Often times there are things going on in every good book that will have you wanting to read until the end.

What is the theme of a novel?

Themes can be broken down into three categories:

  • The first type is the thematic unity, which refers to “the lack of variety in the novel’s content or style.”
  • The second category is the thematic variation, which refers to “the overall change in theme across the novel.”
  • The third category is the thematic concentration, which refers to “the presence of a single central theme throughout the novel.”

Thus, dramatic literature generally has a single overarching theme through all three act parts of the story. This overarching theme can be anything from social criticism, rebellion or revolution, religious or spiritual themes and struggle with amnesia or memory loss.

Themes are linked together by symbols and motifs. These can be anything from archetypal images from literature, music, art, movies or famous quotations.

The most important thing to remember when developing the plot is to follow your central theme consistently and not vary it randomly.

How to know the them of a novel?
How does plot relate to setting in a novel?

The importance of setting in a novel

The setting is the time and place where the story takes place. The setting may be different for every chapter in a novel and it needs to be consistent with the type of story you’re writing.

For example, if I were writing a mystery/crime novel, many of the chapters would probably take place at night or when it was dark outside.

Setting in narrative fiction has to do with how readers understand character’s motivations and emotions through their actions within that specific location.

It also shapes how readers understand what might happen next because they are relying on sensory details that are often associated with certain locations.

Setting is also really important in terms of what type of events you put into your novel, which characters show up where, etc.- so it’s really important.

Information about Plot in Fiction

Plot is the backbone of all stories. This makes it one of the most important elements to master when developing your own story.

Yet, it seems that plot development is difficult and confusing for many aspiring writers. The following information will serve as a good starting point in learning how to develop your own plot and help you see the difference between good plot development and poor plot development.

These principles should be used as knowledge, not copied verbatim here.

The two foundational plot formulas used by successful novelists are known as A-Plot and B-Plot.

  • A-Plot or main plot refers to the basic set of events that occur in the story. Novels with A-Plots usually fall into one of three categories: mystery, crime, or romance.
  • B-Plots or sub-plots refer to the subplots developed by characters or events outside of the A-plot itself. These subplots often involve different characters and offer alternative perspectives on how the A-plot will play out.

Who is more important to the story, the hero or villain?

The hero-villain conflict can be seen in many of the world’s most famous novels. In these stories, there is usually a situation that is faced by the good guy, who would like to do good, and the bad guy, who would like to do bad.

There are two ways this fight plays out – one where the hero is victorious and one where he fails.

The hero defeats the villain and comes out in a better position than he started out with. The hero is defeated by the villain and is forced to learn a lesson from the villain.

The first kind of story is what most people think of when they think about plots. These plots have good guys who are heroes and bad guys who are villains.

The second type of plot is much less common, but it can be seen in works such as Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan or The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.

What is the 3 act structure and why is it important in any story?

The 3 act structure is basic and can be seen in hundreds of books, TV shows, movies, etc. The main reason it’s so common is because it works. This three act structure is all about how to see a plot unfold.

Act One –

The beginning of the story should introduce the characters and set up the plot.

These are the details about setting (time and place) that I talked about in previous sections. Then, you’ll need to get readers interested in your story.

A good way to do that is by introducing the conflict or by introducing a character who will later become a main character.

Act Two –

The second act usually involves some sort of crisis or a complication that must be overcome if the hero is to achieve his goal.

This crisis will be connected to the A-plot. It’s important to remember this because it can help change your plot if you don’t include it in your story. The details of the plot are expanded in this part of the story.

Act Three –

Things go back to normal for the hero here. The character is glad that he or she achieved their goal and gets what they wanted from the story.

How do I show character change in my story?

There are many ways to do this, but one of the best and simplest ways is by showing internal conflicts in your characters.

While many writers talk about this, few show how they actually do it. But your villains should have a character change as well.

Writing dialogue between two characters

How do I write dialogue?

Dialogue is just like any other part of your writing. To get started, you need to take your story and lay it out, paying attention to the setting and genre you’ve chosen.

  • Do you have a strong genre?
  • How are they represented in the story?
  • How do you set up the scenes?

Next, look at the characters in your novel and describe their thoughts and feelings before they speak. In long passages of dialogue, you can sometimes lose touch with a character.

By describing them before they speak, you can remind yourself of their body language and personality traits.

If the characters are having a conversation about an important topic, such as relationships or a plot-related event, then use italics to represent “inner thoughts.”

This will help to keep the material from becoming confusing and too cluttered.

Add emotion to your dialogue. Make each speaker’s “voice” unique through word usage and sentence structure.

You can do this by noticing which words and phrases they like to use. For example, a character that’s being stubborn might use the word “but” when trying to prove their point.

Your expressive character might use vocabulary that is more flowery or poetic. Be creative with the speech patterns of your characters throughout the novel.

How to create a novel that they can’t put down

  1. Research your topic – Make sure you know the basics of what you’re writing.
  2. Outline your project – Figure out what will happen before hand.
  3. Start with a bang and don’t stop – Start with an interesting or compelling idea that will catch the readers attention and keep them reading until the end of the book!
  4. Keep them happy by ending your book well – Endings are what leave the last impression on your readers so make them good!
  5. Be inspired! – Use your resources as a guide or a jumping off point to let your creative juices flow!
  6. Write what you know – It might not be as exciting, but it will be more believable and therefore more interesting to those reading it.
  7. Rewrite and revise – Revise it until the story is as perfect as it can be!
  8. Get better! – Read your work out loud to yourself and try to imagine how others will interpret what you’ve written. Writing for others and sharing your work is a wonderful way to improve.
  9. Edit, edit, edit! – Is it as good as it can be? Does it flow? Does it still have the punch that made you write the first place?

How do I begin writing a plot?

Plot is one of the most important elements in a story or novel. Without it, a story will be boring and uneventful. Well developed plot can make your readers stuck in your words until they finish your book.

The first thing we need to know about plot is how to develop a plot for story or novel. How can we develop a good plot? It’s actually quite simple, but many people still get confused when they try to develop their own plots for novels.

The key to developing a plot is to know what is happening in your story. So you need to know all the main characters and their roles, where the action takes place, and how many chapters are there in your book.

If you take a look around at other books in your genre, you’ll see that some of them have the same main character but they’re developed differently.

What is the difference between a subplot and the main plot in my story?

A subplot may be defined as a secondary plot that is present in the story. This is not the main focus, but it is an important part of the story.

A subplot might explore what another character in the story was doing at a different time than when they were with the main character.

For example, if you are writing about two friends, Sally and Martin who were camping last summer together, you might write about what Sally was up to now that she’s back at school trying to get ready for exams and comparing how she feels now with how she felt during summer break.

The subplot may explore more of Sally’s background and her relationship with her parents or siblings while Martin is at home with his family preparing for winter break.

Another example is that you could write about what Martin is doing at the same time Sally is studying for exams. He might be taking a class at the community college and meeting a new girlfriend while Sally has dropped out of college and is working at Starbucks.

In either case, a subplot might reveal more of the character’s background and their motivation for doing something. Subplots may develop other characters, but they are not as essential to plot development as the main plot line.

How am I supposed to end my novel?

Shopuld I use the 3 act structure?
What makes a great hero or villain?

In order to end your novel, it’s important to remind the reader of everything that has happened.

Think about what the reader needs to know in order to finish reading and tie up any loose ends. Create a coherent ending that finishes on a note that leaves the reader feeling satisfied as though they’ve had their fill of your story.

The end of your story can also be determined by what the story was about. For example, if you had a romance novel, you might end the book with a proposal.

If you had a suspense novel, it could end with a final conflict that takes place or solves the problem.

You’ll need to think about which events and themes are important to your overall purpose for writing so that they have an appropriate ending.

What are some tips for dialogue in a story that will keep readers hooked until the end?’]

Well, it’s difficult to say what makes a story keep someone hooked the entire way through. It might depend on the genre of novel that you’re writing or what kind of atmosphere you’re setting up in your dialogue.

The one thing I do know is that readers enjoy dialogue if it’s used for three things:

  • 1) To further propel the plot
  • 2) To divulge information about character motivations and feelings
  • 3) To create mystery by not revealing everything to the reader

That, if anything, is the basic premise of dialogue.

How do I show character change in my story?

There are three stages that a character change takes place: the process, the event, and the aftermath.

The process is when something happens that causes our protagonist to want to change. This can be a serious loss or a series of small losses that accumulate over time and eventually take their toll on our protagonist.

The event is when the changes actually happen, either because someone tells them they need to get in shape (or see their kid more), or because they are forced into it by circumstance – i.e., somebody has an affair and then wants to fix things with their spouse as soon as possible afterward.

Lastly, the aftermath of these changes is what life looks like after this turn-around takes place: new routines and habits forming, and reveling in the feeling of finally having one’s life under control.

The following three questions will help how you process these changes:

  1. Why does it happen? (A catalyst)
  2. What does your character lose or gain? (Motivation)
  3. How do they act? (The character arc)

What is a story hook?

A story hook is what attracts your reader’s interest. It’s the “one small thing” that your main character notices and that intrigues him enough to pursue further.

The more unique, unusual or out of the ordinary this thing is, the more it will attract readers to your stories.

What is the 3 act structure and why is it important in any story?

The 3 act structure consists of three main parts: the exposition, where the story is introduced; rising action, where conflict and tension is created and builds until the climax; followed by a falling action which sets up for a resolution.

The 3 act structure is important in any story because it provides dramatic tension. It also allows an audience to know what to expect when viewing the climax.”

Resource relating to Novel Plot Outline:

Genre Story Templates – Novel Factory

How to Outline Your Novel in 5 Steps

How to Outline a Novel: the Master Guide

Free fiction writing template to help you outline your novel