Organising your Story Structure

So you have the idea for a story…now what?

Last week I posted an article ‘self-doubt as a writer’ about the number of times I have failed to complete my manuscript from fear of it not been good enough.

I would chop and change and flint from story idea to story idea.

Until I realized I have to have faith in myself and my abilities. Now I am more organised in the the structure of my novel and feel confident and prepared.

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This time I have done something different, something I have not done before.

I have organised my story in a clear slip display folder.

 In categories of:

Characters: from main characters to minor characters; physical appearance, names, professions, habits and traits etc from important details to insignificant details.

Chapter breakdowns



Chapter charts: I just hand draw a chart and add each chapter and scene into each box, this way I can quickly reference a scene or detail.The grid outlines the chapter,  chapter title, and an explanation of how that chapter relates to the plot of the book.

Chapter Chart

Chapter Chart

There are a number of other methods used to structure your plot and help make it easier for you to remain focused on your writing such as;

Index Cards

They are flexible and easy to access and easy to organize and change. It’s completely up to you how much or how little you add on your index cards.

Index cards are a great way to break down scenes, for example a scene index card might be something like this:

Example of a scene

Example of a scene

Coloured Folders: folders offer a systematic way to coordinate your research, characters, or plot etc.

For example all the red folders could be your research and Green could be a collection of your characters. Pink could include your scenes.

Writing Software

PageFour is a word processor and writing environment designed for creative writers.The program allows you to edit and organize your writing. You can keep your chapters and notes, and it has a spell check dictionary.

How do you develop and remember the details of your story, from characters, locations and developing plot.

What methods do you employ in structuring your fiction?

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