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Writing Document: Chapter Outline Template

The document below is what I use to outline the chapters of my novel-length fiction. I'm providing this in conjunction with the sixth episode of the Shameless Plugs podcast in the hopes of helping my fellow writers maintain their momentum, coming out of National Novel Writing Month 2017. A downloadable version is also available. 

For more on Alex Anastos, check out the Electric Freedom Chapter 1 excerpt

Some important things to note about this document:

  • I like for each section to have its own "feel", hence the inclusion of the "Mood/Tone of Section". You could choose to note the viewpoint character's mood if you prefer.

  • Without conflict, there is no fiction, which is why the "Conflict" section of the template is meant to define the conflict specific to each chapter.

  • To maintain reader interest, I always end each section for any protagonist with a failure. It gives them something else to strive for the next time we see them, and keeps the reader turning pages to figure out how they'll overcome the latest setback.

  • I use the "Important Notes/Events" section to make notes about details revealed in each chapter that are either important to the character or later plot points. 

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