Plotstormers: How To Plot A Novel

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Novel writing

How to plot a novel

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Learn how to structure and plot to suit your story
Finish with a chapter-by-chapter outline
Get to the end with our supportive community

Learn how to plot a novel from beginning to end and make your story compelling, complex and memorable.

Writers’ HQ’s five-star online course lets you learn the fundamentals of how to plot a novel, wherever you are in the world. Designed to fit around everyday life and a busy schedule, you will start with a simple idea, and finish with a comprehensive outline of your novel, ready to be first drafted.

They say everyone has a novel inside them – the tricky part is getting it out without painful invasive surgery. This in-depth course contains everything you need to plan out your story from start to finish so that you’re rip-roaring ready to get that first draft out (relatively) painlessly.

Over six weeks (or as long as you need!), we’ll help you to build a practical understanding of story structure and plotting. By the end, you’ll walk away with a comprehensive outline of your story and a plan for what to do next (clue: write!).

Exercises, examples, group discussion, swearing and crying will enable you to grow your fictional world and build your story plan, taking it from ‘idea in your head’ to ‘actual real story that’s ready to be properly written’.

Learn the fundamental elements that make up every good plot and the basics of story structure; explore who’s in your story, what their roles are, and how to make your characters compelling; how to add tension and conflict to your story; how good beginnings, middles and ends work; how to break your story down into chapters and scenes and more; and what to do with your outline once you have it.

34 steps in 6 sections

11: The colour and the shape

  • Welcome to Plotstormers: How To Plot A Novel
  • READ: Foundation garments for a shapely story
  • WATCH: Authors on starting, planning, and thinking
  • WRITE: The Ridiculously Reductive Four Point Plot Planner
  • WRITE: Emotions, morals, and castles
  • READ: Planning non-linear stories
  • WRITE: The Slightly Less Reductive Seven Point Plot Planner
  • DISCUSSION: And relax

22: Finally, the beginning

  • READ: The Magical 16 Point Planner Of Your Dreams
  • WRITE: Making people
  • DISCUSS: Let us begin
  • WRITE: Point 1
  • WRITE: Points 2 & 3
  • WRITE: Points 4 & 5

33: And now, the middle

  • READ: Sculpt your middle for a firmer figure
  • READ: Productive procrastination
  • WRITE: The middle – part 1 of 3
  • READ: Writing by layers
  • WRITE: The middle – part 2 of 3
  • WRITE: The middle – part 3 of 3

44: In a surprise twist, let's look at the end

  • READ: Elements of a rising climax and exciting finish
  • WRITE: The final points – part 1 of 3
  • WATCH: Authors talk about tricky bits and moving on
  • WRITE: The final points – part 2 of 3
  • WRITE: The final points – part 3 of 3
  • WRITE: One more quick go round

55: And then?

  • READ: Smaller units
  • WRITE: What’s the point and what can you see?
  • WRITE: But then, so then
  • WRITE: The midpoint

66: Getting ready to write

  • WRITE: Let’s take it to the bridge
  • WRITE: Another iteration
  • READ: Nip tuck
  • DISCUSS: Plotstorming
  • Take This Course

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