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Start with Enough Story

Abbott builds the story around an outbreak of hysteria, an unusual, unexplained physical illness that spreads among teenage girls in one high school. The adults think they know the cause and their own kind of madness begins to take hold as they try to regain control.

Before you start outlining

There is a lot to pick apart here about loss of innocence, the way we choose our villains, and the unspoken dangers that are all around us all the time. As she often does, Abbott lets real, flawed teenage girls and our complex feelings about them sit at the center of a firestorm. Listen Shop Insiders. Thank you for signing up!

How to Plot Your Novel FAST (editor demonstrates plotting technique)

This is followed by Draft 4, the Surgery Draft, where you start cutting out anything and everything that extraneous. Draft 5 is the Last Draft, your finished manuscript that you may tweak, but this is the one you send out to beta readers and editors to review. We previewed this method last year in our post: A Novel Writing Formula. You start with the backbone of any story: the premise.

This is one line that details what your novel is about, including character, situation, objective, opponent, and disaster. From there, you begin to create your novel one step at a time, with each step building upon the previous one. There are 15 steps that lead you from the premise through character introductions, synopses, goal to decision cycle, locations, advanced plotting, and more. The most intriguing step is when you go through each scene from the viewpoint of each of your major characters.

Have a look at our full review of The Novel Factory. The best method is the one that speaks to you.

How to Plan a Book Series | NY Book Editors

Choose what works best for you. Or experiment with different methods to find the one that helps you be your most productive ever. Kathy Edens is a blogger, a ghost writer, and content master who loves writing about anything and everything. TAGS: writing fiction. Doctrow, who said: "Writing is like driving a car at night. Your Personal Writing Coach Join over a million writers who already use our editing tool Try it for free!

What are you waiting for? It's the best tool for making sure your copy is strong, clear, and error-free! Kathy Edens. Your personal writing coach. Follow us. Popular Articles The Writing Process. The Best Ever Mystery Novels. Grammar Guide Learn everything you need to know about grammar. The stories are self-contained, or independent of each other, although the characters can and should progress in episodic book series as well.

Characters can fall in love, have children, or change jobs within an episodic book series without it confusing for the reader, especially if it makes sense to do so. A book series can be two books or 50 books and counting. Subscribe to receive this extra resource. The first rule of writing a book series is having enough content to justify more than one book. Even if you plan to write an expansive multi-book series, editing is still your best friend.


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No reader wants to drudge through unnecessary passages just because you have the room. I do recommend that you set off to accomplish at least one thing within each book. However, resolve smaller plots in each book so that the reader feels satisfied. That is officially the worst thing ever. No one likes inconsistency in storytelling. Without a doubt, they will spot problems with continuity in your book series. Additionally, I recommend threading the same themes and motifs throughout your multi-book story. It creates much needed cohesion that will help tie together your story.

Murder sushi wrote

Check, double check, triple check your story to make sure that there are no inconsistencies in the plot. Spacing out your series to one book every two or three years is a no go. Consider publishing the next book in your series no longer than one year after the last one. Some novels dive immediately into the action hinted at from the previous novel.


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  • Others leapfrog decades into the future or the past. I just wanted to know what happens next, now that they have this new life. Or, I wonder how this protagonist would handle this problem? You can do this through amazing characterization. This is what I call the Scooby Doo method of series writing.

    Every story is predictable. Use the plot to develop and flesh out the character.