A Nutshell Guide to Plotting a Novel

The other day, someone asked me how to write a book. I only had about thirty seconds to tell her. Fortunately, forty seven years of writing and twenty nine books later, I know a little something about writing a book. Soli Deo Gloria!

To begin with, you need a plot. The simplest method to plotting a novel is the Three-Act Structure. This is classic for plays. James Scott Bell fleshed this out in his book, Plot & Structure.

Then there’s the Plot Mountain. My son studied this way back when in grade school homeschool. There is a cute little video about this method on YouTube.

Those are the basics. However, it can get more complex. You can create a hero’s journey, develop characters, or use outline guides such as Save the Cat or the Snowflake Method. I like Save the Cat because it was written by a screenwriter, and I love movies and dramas.

After a while, I believe that you’ll develop your own method of plotting your story. Perhaps it’s a combination of all the writing methods you’ve learned over the years. Perhaps you’ll come up with your own ideas!

If you like to see all the books I’ve published so far, check them out on Amazon: JanThompson.com/amazon

Joyfully in Jesus,
Jan Thompson

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