PBW Stories

Paperback Writer's Fiction Blog

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

 
Single Novel Plotting Template

This template can be used to draft a novel written for any genre. Each genre
has a particular focus, so if you're writing SF adventure, the main conflict would be a problem which occurs sometime in the future (or past, or in an alternate universe, etc.) If you're writing romance, the main conflict would be the developing relationship between the hero and heroine. If you're writing
a mystery, the main conflict would be the crime involved, etc.

The word "protagonist" is also generic – you can obviously have more than
one, if your book is told from several POVs.

Each block can represent any chapter length. Since I usually write twenty
chapters per book, each block covers two chapters of my story. You don't have to tell the story in this exact order, either. If it's more important to have an element of block seven appear before another in block six, switch them around. My only advice is to keep the progression even; don't move too many elements too far in either direction.

Using a template is like consulting a map for driving directions – it will get you where you want to go, but there are plenty of interesting side roads along the way. Don't stick to the main highway, do a little exploring on your own -- and feel free to change the template to suit your unique style of storytelling.

Your Novel Title:_________________________________________________

Create a Hot Premise – Describe the Story in Ten Words or Less: _____________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________

Block One -- Establish Your Story Line

1. Describe your protagonist (occupational, emotional, and situational.)

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________________________________________________________________

2. What is the main conflict your protagonist faces?

________________________________________________________________



________________________________________________________________


3. Identify the conflict catalyst -- what makes it affect your protagonist?
What does your protagonist decide to do now?

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________________________________________________________________


Block Two -- Supporting Story Elements, Crisis #1

1. Briefly describe your supporting characters.

________________________________________________________________



________________________________________________________________

2. What is/are the subplots of your story?

________________________________________________________________



________________________________________________________________


3. Identify crisis #1 (escalation of the main conflict, or how does it get
worse?)

________________________________________________________________



________________________________________________________________

Block Three -- Conflict Response/Subplot Weaving #1

1. How does your protagnist react to crisis #1?

________________________________________________________________



________________________________________________________________


2. Which of your supporting characters reacts to crisis #1, and how?

________________________________________________________________



________________________________________________________________


3. Which of your subplots comes into play now, and how?

________________________________________________________________



________________________________________________________________

Block Four -- Conflict Escalation #2/Conflict Response

1. Identify crisis #2 (second escalation of main conflict, or how does it
change/get worse?)

________________________________________________________________



________________________________________________________________


2. How does your protagonist react to crisis #2?

________________________________________________________________



________________________________________________________________


3. Which of your supporting characters react to crisis #2, and how?

________________________________________________________________



________________________________________________________________


Block Five -- Present the subplot(s) catalyst(s)/obstacle(s)

1. Describe how the subplot(s) escalate.

________________________________________________________________



________________________________________________________________







2. How does the subplot(s) escalation affect your protagonist in relation to
the supporting characters?

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3. What is the main obstacle to the protagonist solving the main conflict?

________________________________________________________________



________________________________________________________________


Block Six -- Develop supporting Characters/subplot(s); Conflict escalation
#3

1. How do the supporting characters deal with the protagonist's response to subplot escalation?

________________________________________________________________



________________________________________________________________


2. How do the subplots affect the main conflict?

________________________________________________________________



________________________________________________________________







3. Identify crisis #3 (third escalation of the main conflict, or how does it
change/get worse?)

________________________________________________________________



________________________________________________________________


Block Seven -- Protagonist/Supporting character response to crisis #2;
subplot weaving #2

1. How does the protagonist react to crisis #3?

________________________________________________________________



________________________________________________________________


2. How do the supporting characters react to crisis #3, and protagonist's
response?

________________________________________________________________



________________________________________________________________


3. Which of your subplots comes into play now, and how?

________________________________________________________________



________________________________________________________________







Block Eight -- Final conflict escalation, subplot culmination

1. What is the final crisis (describe the final escalation of the main
conflict.)

________________________________________________________________



________________________________________________________________


2. How does the final crisis affect the protagonist and the supporting
characters?

________________________________________________________________



________________________________________________________________


3. What is the culmination of the subplot(s)?

________________________________________________________________



________________________________________________________________


Block Nine -- Response to Final Conflict/Resolution of subplot(s)

1. What is the protagonist's response to the final crisis?

________________________________________________________________



________________________________________________________________






2. What are the supporting characters' responses to the final crisis?

________________________________________________________________



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3. What is/are the resolution(s) of the subplot(s)?

________________________________________________________________



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Block Ten -- Resolution and Conclusion

1. What is the resolution of the main conflict?

________________________________________________________________



________________________________________________________________


2. How does the resolution affect the protagonist and the supporting
characters?

________________________________________________________________



________________________________________________________________

3. What is the conclusion of the story?

________________________________________________________________



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