Author Archive

The 9 best books for novel planning

There are hundreds of books to help writers plan and structure a story, but many of them do little more than describe the famous three-act formula without inspiring much creativity. I’m going to share my nine favourite novel planning books that offer real help to writers who want to plot a well-structured novel. Save the Cat In 2005 Blake Snyder published his Save the Cat…

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The Feynman Technique for Writers

Simplicity is a good thing. There’s a famous quote, attributed to Einstein, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”  So when I was knee-deep in plotting my new novel, I had a pile of notes, I’d tried some character work, started a couple of structure plans, and somehow my story wasn’t quite right. I wished things could be simpler. Then…

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Start a writing group at WriterLink and claim a free subscription to StoryPlanner.com

Writers are typically shy, I know this because I’m a writer and a quiet person. Yet setting up a writing group with a bunch of strangers seven years ago, was the best decision for this particular lonely writer! I love the way my little group has helped my writing improve and I’ve found some wonderful new friends. I soon stopped feeling shy and our meetings…

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How to plan a new work of fiction – Could one well-crafted line be the only plan you need?

November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) when writers around the world set themselves the challenge of writing 50,000 words in one month. It’s a tricky thing to do, but I’ve succeeded three times now. I’ve learned that the more a story is planned the easier this challenge becomes. I also believe using a plan will give a better end result. So in the following…

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How to plan a new work of fiction – Techniques for generating novel ideas

November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and thousands of writers around the globe will try to write 50,000 words in a month. In the coming weeks, I’m going to outline some tips and tricks for planning new works of fiction. This is my favourite exercise for hatching ideas. I’ve used it to come up with the novel idea I’ll be writing in November. Nobel…

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WriterLink helps writers create and find writing groups

The creator of Story Planner has launched a new site called WriterLink, aimed at helping writers create groups based around shared aims and interests. Writing can be a lonely business, and there are huge benefits to forming writing groups with other writers. There are many styles of writing groups, but these three are the most common. Social groups: Writing groups can be entirely social, so…

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New story plans coming soon

We’ve been busy creating a brand new writing site to complement Story Planner. We’re just putting the finishing touches to the new site and will share details soon! We’ve also put together some new writing plans based on feedback from Story Planner’s community. You’ve told us you’d like: A 5 Act Structure plan 9 Act Structure A scene planning guide A plan to combat writer’s…

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How to keep busy writing in difficult times

Story planning while in lock down If there are any saving graces to being stuck at home right now, it is time to write. Even better if doing so provides a small distraction from the problems of the world… It’s our hope that you’re finding Story Planner to be a useful helper in these difficult times.   But with many new members I thought it…

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How can we help you plan your novel?

We’re about to add some new writing plans to Story Planner, because 76 plans just aren’t enough!  If there’s anything you’d like to see on Story Planner we’d love to hear from you. We already offer dozens of story structure plans, from traditional three act structure, to Index Cards and the popular “Hero’s Journey” plan. We also have a range of methods to help you write…

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No Plan? No Problem! Plan now to get the most out of NaNoWriMo

I can’t remember how I stumbled on the enjoyable book No Plot No Problem by Chris Baty. But I do remember it offered something no other writing guide had ever done before. In detail more crazy than serious, it showed how to write a 50,000-word novel in a single month. That was 11 years ago. National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is still going strong. As…

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