Having finished my first book, I have learnt a lot of things. Many people have asked me “Do you just make it up as you go along?” NO! Please don’t ever do that. If you are going to write a story that has consistency and flows nicely you need to have a plan.
Today, I want to discuss how to plan your chapters.
When you come up with the idea for a story, once you have all the details planned out, it is a good idea to take a notebook and detail each chapter. This is also important for hitting your word count target, since once you have planned out how the story will fit into chapters, you can work out roughly how many words each chapter will need to fulfill your target word count.
Under each chapter number, or title if you are using titles rather than numbers you should include the following notes:
- Which characters are going to feature in the chapter.
- What location the chapter will take place.
- Outline what part of the story is going to be told, will there be a big event? Will there be an important conversation? Will there be a revealing aspect which will push the story forward?
- Write down any sentences or paragraphs that you would like included in the chapter which may spring to mind during the planning process, this way you won’t forget any juicy details or good writing when it comes to typing the story up.
Your chapter planning should be as detailed as possible. The way that I like to think of it is that if I were to give my chapter plans to another person that they would be able to write the story just from the notes.
Once you have detailed everything, you will find it much easier when you sit down to write, you will see with each chapter written, how your story is coming together, where you are in the process and what you have left to do. You can always add extra bits in at a later date should you feel the need too.
Planning is an essential part of writing, if you simply sit down and start typing up a story, you will find that you may forget what you have already written and make consistency errors and that the story won’t piece together properly. As exciting as it is to start writing your book, you should take great care and pride in your plans in order to make the final piece as convincing and realistic as possible.
I hope these ideas are useful for you and I wish you all the best in getting started on your writing journey.