Plotting By The Numbers

By Samantha Hoffman

Wouldn't it be great if there was a formula for plotting your novel, and all you had to do was fill in the blanks with your wonderful prose? You can actually find this kind of formula - just Google "formula for plotting novel" and you'll come up with 61,800,000 results.

Which ones will work? Who knows. What works for me might not work for you, and vice versa.

Writers do it differently; some outline, some do storyboards, some do chapter synopses, some (like me) just write and let the story unfold. For me, characters appear and situations change as I write, and it's a fun surprise. There's no right way or wrong way. Whatever works for you is how you should do it. You may have to try different things but eventually you'll land on the process that works for you.

Once you've landed on the way to work you'll want to pay strict attention to those things that MUST be present in your novel if you're going to grab your reader: interesting and well-drawn characters, beginning-middle-end, conflict and resolution, prose that moves the story along. Click here to read Kurt Vonnegut's basics on creative writing.


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