Advanced Approach to Structuring a Novel

(How to achieve a workable story in your first draft.)

1. Write Your Logline

This means get 25-35 words that SING and let anyone see how the story could unfold. It’s fair to have more than one logline at this stage. More about that here. This will help you stay pointed when you work Step 2.

2. Write Your Synopsis

What?? But my book’s not done! That’s the whole point. Which would you rather do, move around large blocks of text for a year, or spend three weeks adjusting the bullet points of your plot until you can see the story crisp and clear in your mind? More about creating a synopsis here.

3. Write Your First Draft

If you have done a complete synopsis, -OR- written a solid sequence of plot images or scenes, THEN you can start writing the manuscript. You’ll have a much better chance of achieving a solid first draft which reads like a story if you KNOW WHERE YOU’RE GOING AT EVERY TURN.