A lot of you may have spent this month feverishly writing a 50K novel in 30 days. As the end of NaNoWriMo is near, I thought today could be a good time to share a few tips on how to structure your novel effectively. Whether you plotted your first draft or pantsed your way through it, I believe it’s always useful to be aware of your novel’s important milestones when revising it. Using a spreadhseet to structure your novel can help you with the pace of your story: it enables you to spot when nothing happens (or when too much happens too fast) and to keep your reader engaged throughout the story.
There are dozens of templates out there (the most famous being the Save The Cat Beat Sheet by Blake Snyder). I’ve come up with the one below by taking bits and pieces from here and there. Feel free to reuse it and adapt it to your needs…
Plot Point 1 Opening/Protagonist intro (1% in)
Plot Point 2 Inciting Incident (5%)
Plot Point 3 First Turning Point (10%)
Plot Point 4 First Big Twist (40%)
Plot Point 5 Middle Turning Point (50%)
Plot Point 6 Second Big Twist (70%)
Plot Point 7 Climax (85%)
Plot Point 8 Resolution (95%)
Plot Point 9 Finale (100%)
So what do you think? Do you use a plot spreadsheet to outline or revise your novel? Feel free to leave us a comment below!