Need help starting your book? Here’s what I do…

16 Jan


Here is a template I tend to use, just to get myself excited about my next book. often: I eventually break away from the outline because my book takes on a mind of its own, but it helps when getting started.

Most of my plot twists happen suddenly, they surprise even me and I think those are the best. So once you get rolling, let it go, this outline is not a bible, just helpful…

Working Title:

Type/Genre your going for:

Main Characters (just list names):

Character#1: (the protagonist: hero or heroine of story):


Their Goal:

Their personality:

Character#2: (The antagonist: the opposition character or villain)


Their Goal:

Their personality:

Relationship to protagonist:

Setting of Novel:

Time Frame:

Reason for this setting:

Main complication of story:

Primary obstacles preventing main character from achieving his or her goal:

how is the story resolved for the main character:

and then I like to write down 15-25 words. I try to think what I would name each chapter, or one word that best describes the book in a sequence from beginning to end. Then I take each word and expand it into a sentence, then paragraph, then paragraphs.

And then Viola! you have a book 🙂

and as for starting your book, i like to envision my character doing something mundane, like sitting laying at the top of the stairs, her legs cascading down the steps.

“I felt the cold granite under my palms as I lay lifeless on the top step of the winding staircase. The sweat from my hands permiating onto the stone, beading like soft mist on a cold day. I rolled my head to the left, my eyes falling on the…”

Just like that, you have a beginning that leaves people wondering, what stairs? why is she sweating? why is she lying there?

and your hooked…

but I recommend you not use this spacific line… Its the beginning of my Book Two: Guardian… 🙂 thanks…

Hope this helps 🙂



2 Responses to “Need help starting your book? Here’s what I do…”

  1. maryrestaino January 16, 2009 at 10:14 pm #

    Some good ideas, thanks for sharing.

  2. Allison January 17, 2009 at 6:08 pm #

    These are some really good ideas especially on how character development.

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