Sunday, January 23, 2005

Ten Things to Help With Novel Plotting

Every writer has different plotting methods. I use templates. Holly Lisle uses notecards. Not every writer plots, either -- John Grisham does, Stephen King doesn't. Strangest plotting method I've ever heard: One of my former students used an erasable marker on the tile wall in his bathroom.

There is no single right way to plot, so it's best to research different methods, try them out, and keep what works for you. To get you started, here are

Ten Things to Help With Novel Plotting

1. James Scott Bell's Structure Secrets.

2. Stella Cameron's Plotting Your Novel.

3. C.J. Hannah's Four Point Plot Line. (Site no longer exists)

4. Jeff Heisler's Plotting.

5. Randall Ingermanson's Snowflake Process.

6. Holly Lisle's Notecarding: Plotting Under Pressure.

7. Lee Masterson's Plotting Your Novel.

8. M. Mulgrew's Plot Outline Diagram.

9. David Sheppard's Plotting.

10. S.L. Viehl's Single Novel Plotting Template.*

*I haven't updated the copyright note at the bottom of this, but my plotting templates are free for anyone's personal use or non-profit distribution. If you do post or reproduce the template, just remember to give me the byline credit.

(Links updated 2/14/09)


  1. Single Novel Plotting Template. I don't know if it's the same one, only that your link did not work fo rme; so I resorted to Google Fu. ;-)

  2. The link doesn't work for me either.

  3. Anonymous4:03 AM

    Most of the links I tried are broken...thanks for the post, though!

  4. Su_ThinkTank wrote:
    Most of the links I tried are broken...

    Thanks for the heads-up, Su -- I went through the list and checked them, deleted one that no longer exists and updated three others. The rest still work for me, so you might want to try them again. :)

  5. Anonymous7:10 PM

    Wow, the plotting template you provided has done wonders for my novel. Best plotting I've ever achieved! Thanks.

  6. Anonymous7:13 AM

    For the Four Point Plot Line:


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