Story Planner’s easy-to-follow steps help writers plan novels, screenplays and more.
Writing is easier when you have a plan. We take you through each stage of the planning process to help you create a better story.
How Story Planner can help you
We offer a range of story plans to suit your writing style, whether you like a fast, easy planning method, or more detailed story structure.
We look at planning methods so you don't have to. We've selected the very best ways to plan a story and many popular methods used by successful writers.
Our plans can help with more than just plots. We can help you understand your characters, define your story setting, and understand why you write.
Story Planner Helper will guide you to choose the right plan. We have plans for every stage of the writing journey.
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WriterLink is Story Planner’s sister site. It helps writers meet new friends for support and feedback on their journey to getting published. It lists groups, courses and services to help writers improve their skills.
It took J.K Rowling five years to outline the plots for her Harry Potter books - she used detailed spreadsheets and notes.
66% of writers plan their novels.
The majority of agents ask writers to send a one or two page story outline or synopsis.
"A pantser" is the word used to describe someone who writes without any planning. They write "by the seat of their pants."
Story structure was described by Aristotle in his "Poetics" in 335 BC. The Dramatic Structure he described is at the heart of many modern writing plans.
- Choose from a vast range of templates.
- Easy A-B-C steps to help plan story structure.
- Save, edit and export your plans.
- Try popular planning methods like the “Snowflake Method” and “The Hero's Journey”.
- Keep all your ideas saved in one place. Add to and develop them when inspiration strikes.
- Try Story Planner Novel Launcher to take you from idea to a book outline in 6 simple stages.
Plan a better story
Have a story in mind but don't know where to start? Story Planner Helper can point you in the right direction.
Here’s what Story Planner members say
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Plan Organize Write Collab on your story
An online collaborative story planner that lets writers plan, organize, and write stories & fictional universes.
No installation required. Work from anywhere—even your phone.
- Craft your universe
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Plan, Organize, Write
Plan your stories or just start writing the first chapter. Organize complex projects. Write high-quality stories with our advanced manuscript editor.
Write from anywhere, at any time. Plot Factory is optimized for mobile phones so that you won't have to be stuck on your computer to write.
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Track your daily, weekly, and monthly word stats. Set a goal and see a visual account of your progress.
Great stories are planned before they are written
J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, came up with the idea for the series while waiting for a train. Did she immediately begin writing the first chapter? No. On that day, she began a five year long journey planning the immersive world and plot of the Harry Potter series. Five years in, and she publishes the first of seven books. What followed was nothing short of amazing.
The series went on to become a worldwide phenomenon and some of the best selling books in history. Records were shattered. Fans clamored for more. J.K. Rowling became a household name and won the admiration of millions around the world.
With Plot Factory, you have the potential to do the same. We provide you with the tools to realize your masterpiece. Begin your journey now.
Our Flagship Features
Narrate your stories.
Hear your story out loud. Listen for grammatical errors, run-on sentences, and story flow.
- Collaborative Writing
Collaborate with your team on Plot Factory just like you would on Google Docs.
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Quickly and easily build characters off built-in character sheets or build you own sheet.
Export your stories as ePub files, for self-publishing. Export as docx files for querying.
Narrate your stories with life-like voices
Narration generator supports English accents and female voices.
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Plan Your Books The Way You Think
Outline faster , organize smarter , and turbocharge your productivity today with the #1 visual book planning software for writers.
Available for All Devices
"Plottr's intuitive visual interface allows plotting to be the creative process it's supposed to be."
How plottr will help you outline your books, visualize your plot points.
- Quickly outline your book with visual story cards
- Filter your timeline by characters, places, and tags
- Color-coordinate your storylines to keep them organized
- Flip the timeline to view it vertically or horizontally
Create Your Story Bible
- Visually organize your characters and places
- Link your characters and places to your scenes
- Create custom attributes to track specific details, like special powers or geographical trivia.
Automate Your Outlines
- Generate an outline automatically based on what you've created
- Autosave ensures your work is always safe
- Edit your scenes in outline view and filter them by storylines
- Export your outline to Microsoft Word and Scrivener
Start with Proven Templates
- Starter templates from Hero's Journey to Romancing the Beat
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- Use your outline as the basis of your manuscript
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Plottr is a visual outlining tool built for published and aspiring writers of all kinds – novelists, screenwriters, playwrights, academics, journalists, writing students, and beyond. Whether you’re an outlining pro or your journey is just beginning, Plottr can help you visually (and creatively) build a plan to write your book!
Plottr is a downloadable software available for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android – this includes iPhone, iPad, and Android tablets. You can also sync files across devices using a 3rd-party storage service (e.g. Dropbox, iCloud, OneDrive). We are aiming to release both a Linux and web app soon.
That's what folks tell us! Plottr is enjoyed daily by everyone from precocious high school students to professional published authors, hobbyists, and writers in virtually every category in between. We have a library of documentation, video tutorials, and demos to help you get started.
If your license expires, you will still have access to the version of Plottr and files you had at the time of expiration. However, you will not be able to download updates and bug fixes afterwards without renewing your license.
We provide support via email Monday through Friday (10am to 6pm ET), along with a full suite of educational resources, including: video tutorials , written documentation , and product demos . You can also view (and contribute to) our roadmap and find important announcements both within the app on the blog !
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How to Plan a Book (Ultimate 10 Step Guide)
by Ali Luke | Create a Book
Writing a book isn’t easy.
It takes weeks, probably months, of consistent work.
It will challenge you.
Yet ... a book can change everything.
Perhaps your book will add an extra income stream to your freelancing business, bringing in royalties so that you’re no longer purely tied to by-the-hour work.
Perhaps your book will be an important signifier of your expertise in your field, impressing current clients ... and netting you new ones.
Perhaps your book will give you access to a brand-new audience: you’re not doing it for the book-sales money, but the new leads who might buy considerably higher priced products or services from you.
Or perhaps your book will reach thousands or even millions of people, having a real impact on their lives.
If you never get it written – you’ll never know.
And even the most daunting tasks become manageable if you break them down.
Here’s how to plan and write your book, in ten simple steps.
Note: This post focuses on non-fiction books, as the planning process is very different for fiction. If you’re a novelist or would-be novelist, you may find some of the general advice helpful – but for more tailored help, check out my post Your Two-Year Plan for Writing, Editing and Publishing Your Novel (However Busy You Are)
Step #0: Check That People Actually Want This Book
This step precedes any actual planning! If you’re going to write a book, you (probably) want people to eventually read it. That means making sure there’s an audience for your work before you spend a ton of time creating it.
Even if it seems ridiculously obvious to you that people need your book, that doesn’t necessarily mean they want it.
Here’s how to get an idea of what people do want:
Run a survey of your audience (if you have an existing audience – e.g. through your blog, email newsletter or Facebook page). Ask them about your possible book ideas: which would they most like to read?
- Look for existing books on a similar topic: how well are they selling? You might take a look at their rank on Amazon.
- Look for blog posts about the topic . Have they got a reasonable response, in terms of comments, shares, etc, compared with other posts on the same blog?
- Think about questions that you frequently get from people new to your topic area. Is this book something that would answer those?
If you have yet to come up with an idea, all of these can be great ways to get to know what your audience wants so you can deliver exactly that.
Important: Don’t try to cover everything about a broad topic – it’s way too much to handle, plus, what will you write next?
KEY ACTION: Make sure that there’s an audience for your book. Don’t leap into planning and writing without taking this step.
Step #1: Get Clear About Your Book’s Eventual Format and Purpose
Allow: 15 – 60 minutes to think about it, depending on how clear you already feel about this.
We already took a quick look at some of the great benefits a book might bring. It’s time to be crystal clear about what you want.
Is your book going to be:
- A physical book you sell at events , to bring in a little extra money, but also to leave participants with a lasting reminder of you and your work?
- A free ebook you give to your email list , as an incentive to subscribe?
- A premium ebook you sell through a website or blog you own? (These often contain specialist information, and they’re usually priced high – $29 or $49 wouldn’t be uncommon.)
- A mass-market ebook you sell through Amazon and other online retailers? (These are priced much lower, anything from $0.99 - $9.99, but you have the potential to reach a much larger audience.)
All of these have different benefits, and some will suit different types of ideas – for instance, a free ebook for your email list is likely to be short and specific. Decide up-front what sort of book you’re writing.
KEY ACTION: Come up with a target word count for your book : to help you with this, you might want to look at similar books and figure out roughly how long they are. (Count the words on an average-looking page and multiply by the number of pages.) This will be important for the next few steps.
Step 2: Figure Out a Working Timetable
Allow: 15 minutes to work out a sensible timetable.
I can tell you one sad truth about writing a book: if you wait for a chunk of free time to appear in your schedule ... it’s never going to happen.
The good news, though, is that a small regular effort really will add up. You just need to decide when you’re going to fit “write my book” into the rest of your life.
Chances are, you have a busy life. You might not have much flexibility over your time: perhaps you have a day job, or a health condition, or (like me) you have to find time to write while raising young children .
At least one of these should be possible for you, though:
1. Writing for 15 minutes first thing in the morning, seven days a week ( as Darren Rowse, of ProBlogger fame, mention s here , this is exactly how he got his first ebook written).
2. Writing for 30 minutes, Monday to Friday, in your lunch break at your day job.
3. Writing for 10 minutes, twice a day, while your baby is napping.
4. Writing for an hour every Saturday and Sunday morning.
5. Writing for an hour on two weeknights each week. (Decide which nights in advance.)
Each of these will net you two hours or more per week on your ebook. That’s enough time to write 2,000 words, which means that for a 40,000 word ebook (which would definitely be long enough to count as full-length), you’ll be done with your draft in 20 weeks, or about four and a half months.
If you’re impatient like me, four and a half months might feel like ages . But trust me, if you wait to suddenly have a whole free week to write like the wind ... you’ll still not be finished, months later .
Of course, if you have more time available, by all means use it! If you can find, say, an hour a day for your ebook, you’ll have that 40,000 word draft done in a little over a month.
Bonus tip: If you’re planning ahead for promoting your ebook (e.g. lining up guest posts), don’t forget to allow time for editing and publishing. My rule of thumb is to allow about 2/3 rd s of the drafting time for this phase – so if it took you 20 weeks to draft your ebook, allow roughly 13 for the editing and publishing.
KEY ACTION: Commit to a specific “book writing” time : write this down and share it with at least one person (pop it in a comment on this post, if you want).
Step 3: Get Your Book’s Outline Started by Mindmapping
Allow 10 – 20 minutes for your initial mindmap.
Perhaps you’ve already got a good sense of what’s going into your book, or maybe you just have a title or topic idea and you don’t know what to include.
Either way, mindmapping is a great way to get started.
Write down your book’s topic in the centre of a sheet of paper, then jot down related ideas around the edge. You can link ideas together, indicate sub-ideas, and so on.
This definitely doesn’t need to be a work of art. Here’s my very quick mindmap for a book idea I’ve been mulling over:
Although you’ll be turning this into a traditional linear outline soon, it’s important to start with a non-linear approach: it helps you get all the ideas out of your head and onto paper without worrying about what order they need to go in, and it can free you up to be more creative.
Note: There are lots of apps available to help you create mindmaps: personally, I like good old pen and paper– no learning curve, and maximum flexibility!
KEY ACTION: Create a mindmap. Don’t wait to feel inspired, just grab a bit of paper – right now, if you can – and get going.
Step #4: Develop Your Ideas into an Outline
You might want to allow a couple of separate sessions for brainstorming: sometimes, new ideas will quietly bubble away in the back of your mind when you’re not actively working, ready to pop out when you return to your mindmap a day or two later.
Once you’ve got plenty of ideas down, you can develop them into a linear outline. I do this by noting on my mindmap which ideas are key ones and which probably won’t – on reflection – fit within this book at all. I figure out a sensible order for the key ones and this forms the start of my outline – often the chapter headings.
Good ways to order your ideas include:
1. From first step to last step. If you’re taking readers through a process, like publishing their ebook on Amazon, it makes sense to start with what they’ll need to do first (e.g. commission a cover design).
2. From easiest to hardest. Some books cover advice that’s more pick-and-mix: ways to develop your freelancing business, for instance. You might start with the easy, quick wins and move on to more complex tips.
3. From A to Z. If your ebook is more like a directory of resources (e.g. reviews of 100 books on writing), and you don’t want to imply any kind of “best” to “worst” ordering, then an alphabetical list can work well.
4. From earliest to latest. Perhaps you’re writing about a historical event or movement; often, it makes sense to order at least some of your chapters chronologically, starting with the earliest point in time and working forward to the latest point (which might be the present day). You might well have a broader overview at the start of the book, though, and a conclusion at the end.
5. In separate parts. If your ebook covers distinct areas within a topic, it might make sense to split it into several parts (at least two, probably not more than five).
Here’s an example of how you might structure an ebook into different parts. I’ve written a full chapter plan for Part One, then the other parts have rough notes about what will be included:
How to Find Time to Write When You Have Kids
Part One : What Do You Want to Achieve?
Chapter One: You Don’t Need to Feel Guilty About Wanting to Write
Chapter Two: Setting (Sane) Writing Goals for the Year
Chapter Three: What Are You Willing to Give Up, or Compromise On?
Part Two : Setting a Writing Schedule That You Can Stick To ... And Enjoy
(sample schedules, how little blocks of time add up, where to carve out extra time, sticking to schedule, productivity / procrastination)
Part Three: How Routines Help You Write (And Get Everything Else Done Too)
(routines for your writing sessions or working days, housework checklists, single and multi-tasking where appropriate)
Part Four: Specific Tips for Different Ages and Stages
(from babies to teens; bring in guest writers here with older kids)
For me, this is one of the most exciting stages of writing a book: with a list of chapters, that book feels much closer to becoming real. The next step is simply to start filling in the details.
KEY ACTION: Create at least a high-level overview of your book . You should have a written record of all the major areas that you’ll be covering – and ideally, you’ll have working titles for your individual chapters.
Step #5: Fleshing Out Your Chapters with Key Points
Allow 1 – 2 hours to go through your whole chapter plan. You may want to do this in stages.
For each of your chapters, you’ll probably want between three and five key points (if you’re ending up with more than five, think about splitting it into two chapters; if you have two or only one key points , you might want to merge it with another chapter).
Go through your mindmap and pull out any sub-points into their relevant chapters. If you like, you can also start new mindmaps for each part or each chapter, to help you get ideas down.
If you’re stuck on a particular chapter, wondering what to include, you could:
1. Go through any related posts on your blog. Do any of them spark a new idea?
2. Think about common questions you get from readers. What do they most need to know within this particular chapter?
3. Consider ways to give more advanced information , where relevant: this sometimes fits best into an appendix or on your blog, with a link in the ebook, so that a chapter doesn’t end up becoming really long and unwieldy.
KEY ACTION: Flesh out at least the first three chapters of your book. If you’re really keen to start writing, you don’t necessarily have to do the whole plan at this stage – you can plan ahead a few chapters at a time.
Step #6: Make Writing a Breeze with Your Standard Chapter Template
Allow 15 - 30 minutes to come up with a strong chapter template.
This isn’t something you have to do to write a book – but it will definitely make your life easier, and it guarantees a well-structured, easy to follow book for your reader.
Come up with a “standard chapter template” that you use for all your chapters, unless there’s a good reason not to. (Your introduction and conclusion will likely be a bit different, for instance.)
Here’s a possible chapter template: many non-fiction authors use some variant of this.
- Chapter title
- Brief introduction to what you’ll learn in this chapter, possibly in bullet points.
- Three to five key points, each with a subheading. (This is the bulk of the chapter.)
- Brief conclusion, summing up what you’ve learned – again, this may use bullet points.
- Exercises to help you put what you’ve learned into practice.
As you can see, this is very like the standard structure you’d use for a blog post:
- Call to action
So if you’re a blogger, you should find this a natural and hopefully fairly easy way to structure your book.
(In fact, it’s certainly not unheard of for bloggers to construct books that are, essentially, a series of blog posts. Michael Hyatt’s Platform and Darren Rowse’s 31 Days to Build a Better Blog are both edited collections of blog posts.)
Of course, you can get more detailed with your template. You might decide to follow a standard structure for your key points, for instance, perhaps starting each one with a quote, example, or screenshot. You might add a “case study” or “further reading” or other bonus section to each chapter, before the conclusion.
Good news: you’re done with the planning!
Of course, there may well be other planning-related tasks to tackle (perhaps you’ll need to do research for specific chapters) – but you’ve got a strong, solid overview of your whole book and you can start writing.
KEY ACTION: Decide on a basic chapter template. Feel free to use the five-point example above, or come up with one of your own – you might want to look at how the chapters are structured in books that are similar to yours.
Step #7: Tackle Your Writing in a Sensible Order
Allow 15 minutes to decide how best to approach writing your book.
While there’s nothing stopping you creating your chapters piecemeal, adding in bits and pieces of text to your detailed outline until it eventually becomes a finished book, I prefer a more structured way of working.
For most books, it makes sense to:
1. Draft each chapter in turn, starting with Chapter 1 and working forward. It’s usually best to work sequentially as then you can easily refer back to things you’ve already covered – and you can get a sense of flow and progression into your book.
2. Draft the introduction after writing the main bulk of the book. That way, you’ll know exactly what you’re introducing! Quick tip: once you’ve drafted it, try cutting the first paragraph or two – and see if the introduction reads better without them. Most writers (me included) tend to produce some “warm up” text before really getting going.
3. Draft the conclusion last. Make sure you don’t miss this out: it’s easy to end up stopping with your final chapter, but it’s usually a good idea to have some kind of overall wrap-up that offers the reader some sensible next steps. These may well include checking out another book you’ve written, or subscribing to your blog or newsletter.
4. Add any extras after completing the manuscript. These might include an “About the Author” section, a dedication, a page where you thank people who helped with the writing, and so on. You’ll also want to include a Table of Contents – which you can generate automatically in most word processors, if you set up your chapter titles correctly.
Of course, there are other ways you might choose to tackle this. Maybe you want to write the easiest chapters first, to help you overcome your initial resistance to getting started . Or maybe you want to take on the most research-intensive chapters to begin with, so you know that some of the hardest work is out of the way quickly.
It’s up to you. What matters is that you have a sensible plan, so you don’t constantly waste time wondering what the heck to work on next.
KEY ACTION: Decide how you’re going to approach the writing of your book : write down your plan so you can refer back to it as you go along.
Step #8: Staying Focused When You Sit Down to Write
Writing a book is a big, high-resistance task – and lots of us have trouble staying productive . Having set writing times (see Step #2) can help you get past some of the initial resistance to sitting down – it’s book writing time, so you’re going to open the document up and get moving – but you may still find yourself getting distracted.
Procrastination can easily become a habit: if you spend your writing sessions constantly checking Facebook or watching cute cat videos then that’s going to feel like a natural, normal part of writing. You’ll end each session feeling frustrated and disappointed.
There are a lot of different little things you can do to boost your focus, but these are the three that are likely to make the biggest, most immediate difference:
1. Switch off your wifi, or unplug your Ethernet cable, when you’re writing . If you can’t go online at all, you’ve removed a whole bunch of distractions! (Yes, I know you can just switch it back on or plug the cable back in ... but that adds in an extra step, and an extra decision point where you can remind yourself to stay focused.)
2. Work in short timed bursts of 10 – 30 minutes. You might like to try the Pomodoro technique . Tell yourself that you only have to write for X minutes and then you can take a break. I like to set a timer running; some writers find this a bit too pressuring.
3. Reduce external distractions as much as possible. If you’re in a busy coffee shop and you’re distracted by other people’s conversations, wear noise-cancelling headphones and play music to drown out the world. If you’re at home and family members keep interrupting, work in a quieter room.
KEY ACTION: Decide on one thing you will do to boost your focus whenever you’re working on your book. Try to make it something very quick and simple, so you can do it straight away at the start of each writing session – that way, it’ll quickly become a habit. For instance, “switch off wifi” or “set a timer for 15 minutes” or “put my music on”.
Step #9: Knowing How to Write Each Sentence of Your Book
Allow 15 minutes to jot down key details about your “typical” reader.
Even if your blog posts seem to flow easily onto the screen, you might find yourself feeling stilted and uncomfortable writing your book. Perhaps the writing seems awkward or affected; maybe you’re veering between going into way too much detail on every point and skating over important information.
Often, this is just a case of pushing on with the writing until you find a natural voice and flow – it can take time. To speed up the process, you may find it helps to focus on one specific “typical” reader of your book (perhaps someone you know in real life, perhaps someone who’s commented on your blog). You might hear this called your “ideal reader”, “reader avatar” or “ reader persona ”.
How would you write it if you were explaining it to them in an email? What would they think about that off-color joke – would it make them laugh or cringe? How much do they already know, and where might they need some extra pointers?
Remember, too, that you’ll be able to come back and edit – so even if your writing is a little rough around the edges at present, keep moving forward!
KEY ACTION: Write down a few key details about your “typical” reader. Ideally, pick an actual person: if that doesn’t work for you, come up with a composite. How much do they already know about your topic area? What sort of tone will they respond best to (encouraging, brash, practical, jokey)?
Step #10: Follow Your Working Schedule (and Get Back On Track When Needed)
Allow 10 minutes to decide how you’ll deal with problems.
Starting a new book can be a bit like starting a new diet: you go at it enthusiastically for a few days ... only to end up slipping back into bad habits. After a few weeks, you give up altogether.
Inevitably, you’ll have bad writing days. You’ll have sessions where you just can’t focus, or when you get interrupted just as you’re getting into flow. You’ll have hectic weeks where life gets in the way.
What’s important is that, after a bad day or week, you get back into writing. Don’t let one blip turn into an excuse to give up altogether.
You might find it helps to:
1. Find ways to protect your writing time. If you’re constantly being interrupted, can you go somewhere else (coffee shop, library, park) to write in peace?
2. Make the most of the time you do have . Even if you can only find 30 minutes this week, use them to the full.
3. Set times for “catch-up” writing sessions if needed. Perhaps you normally write from 6pm – 6.30pm after work, but if that doesn’t happen for some reason, you’ll write first thing on a Saturday morning instead.
4. Take a proper break from writing. If you’re starting to burn out, have a week off. Finishing your book a week later than planned won’t make much difference (unless you’re on a deadline); giving up on your book at all will!
Assume that, at some stage, things will go a bit pear-shaped ... and prepare for it.
KEY ACTION: Decide now what you’ll do if you have a bad week and feel tempted to give up. Take some time off? Talk to a supportive friend? Reconnect with the reason why you wanted to write the book in the first place?
And that’s it! If you follow these steps, you’ll soon have a full first draft of your book.
If you do just one thing from this list this week, make it this one: set a regular time to work on your book. If you can do that, everything else will fall into place: you can go through the plan during your initial working sessions, then get started on the writing.
Once you’ve finished writing your book, check out some of these detailed posts for help with the next stages – editing and publishing:
Eight Simple Tips for Editing Your Own Work (Ali Luke, Write to Done) – even if you’re hiring an editor to help, it’s a good idea to make your book as good as possible first.
5 Ways to Find the Right Freelance Book Editor (Stacey Ennis, JaneFriedman.com) – editing isn’t cheap, and you want to make sure you’ll be working with the right person.
How to Self-Publish An Ebook (Joanna Penn, The Creative Penn) – a hugely in-depth article with loads of helpful links and tips.
How to Self-Publish A Print Book (Joanna Penn, The Creative Penn) – again, lots of great information, and a good look at whether print is worth it or not for you.
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- How to Write a Book
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- Do You Underline Book Titles?
- Snowflake Method
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- Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Book
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- Types of Writers
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9 Best Book Writing Templates [+ Free Download]
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Writing a book can be a daunting task and there is never any shame in getting some help. You should constantly be learning how to become a better writer.
Utilizing the many resources that are available to you will make the process easier and more efficient. There is no telling how long it will take to write your book, so some book writing templates can help speed the process up.
A book writing template acts as a guide that writers can rely on. It helps you create the blueprint for your book. They are useful tools whether you are learning how to write a book, or are already experienced in the craft.
Book writing templates are most useful for new writers who are still wrapping their head around the whole idea of writing a book. A template will give them the structure so all they have to do is let the creativity flow.
Especially for those learning how to write a novel length piece of 50,000 words or more, a book writing template will help you. It will allow you to stay organized and focused while you see your project through to completion.
The Benefits of Book Writing Templates
In addition to helping you do the writing itself, book writing software with templates have many advantages. They are there to help your book be the best it can in all areas.
Some of these templates are built into their own software, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take them and do what you want with them.
Using these templates in conjunction with Squibler may be beneficial if you are wanting to stay really organized and efficient. It is a fantastic book writing software that is designed for book writers specifically.
Between Squibler and these brilliantly designed templates, you’ll be learning how to become a better writer in no time. The templates themselves have many benefits:
While the content itself is the main purpose of your book, aesthetics still need to come into play. From the layout to the font, you want it to look good. Knowing how to write a book isn’t only about storytelling.
There are book writing templates that will help you with these things as well.
Book Writing Templates are Easy to Use
When trying to write a good book , you don’t want anything to overcomplicate the process. Book writing templates are there to make things easier.
A template will be easy to understand and implement.
Better Publishing Experience
When it comes time to publish your book, having the right book writing template will make for a better experience. You will already have your book laid out the way it should be.
And, if you have chosen a template with design elements as well, you won’t have to worry about the way it looks. This makes for a seamless and stress-free publishing process.
Book Writing Templates Save You Time
Writing a book directly from scratch is overwhelming and not always necessary. Book writing templates will give you a head start on the structure of your book. This will save you valuable time.
Even as you begin the writing itself, having the template there to guide you will save you from getting lost in your own story. Once one section is finished you can move onto the next.
You will never have to sit there and wonder where you should go or what should happen.
Characteristics of the Best Book Writing Templates
While book writing templates will vary in what they have to offer, many of the core characteristics will remain the same. These attributes are ones you can look out for when selecting the best book writing template for yourself.
The Best Book Writing Templates are Comprehensive
The best book writing templates are often made by professionals. This means they know what they are doing. They are well versed in the world of writing and they know what will help you.
This means they should be detailed and thorough. Nothing should be missing from the process you are trying to create. For example, a novel outlining template should have sections for all basic aspects of writing a novel:
- Note taking
- Character sketches
- Setting sketches
- Chapter sections
- Scene sections
Different types of books will have different requirements, but the template should include all of them.
The Best Book Writing Templates are Customizable
A good quality novel outlining template created by a professional will have a good structure that is effective. However, this doesn’t mean their method is set in stone.
A good template will allow you to customize it with ease while still maintaining its own basic structure.
For example, you might want to add more chapters than the number that is being recommended. Or, perhaps you choose to rearrange some aspects of the given novel structure. Making changes is okay – the templates are created as guides only.
The Best Book Writing Templates are Not Complex
While some book writing templates are expansive and cover lots of ground, they shouldn’t be complicated. A good template will be straightforward and easy to follow.
You should be able to navigate your way through it and know what you’re looking at. For example, the layout should have a proper flow – things should be in order. In a novel writing template, note, research, and brainstorming should all sit next to each other, while chapters and scenes are kept together.
Learning how to write a book is complicated enough. Your book or novel outlining template should be simple at its core.
The 9 Best Book Writing Templates
Many writers swear by using a template and won’t start a project without one. Because of this, many options have been created. It can be hard to find the right one.
Start by identifying what type of book you are writing, and go from there. First, find a template that is relevant, then look for one that matches your likes and preferences.
While there are hundreds of templates available, these are some of the best and most common ones. If you are new to templates, it may take going through a few to find your favorite.
Most of the templates listed below can be used with Microsoft Word, Scrivener, Adobe InDesign, or Apple Pages.
For avid Scrivener users, we do have a more comprehensive list of Scrivener templates that you might find useful as well.
The Three Act Story Plotting Template
This template focuses on the most basic level of story structure there: the beginning, the middle, and the end. This is known as the three-act story structure.
The three act template will walk you through all the elements of each act.
- The opening scene
- The inciting incident
- Call to action
- Rising action
- Turning point
- Denouncement, or resolution
All of these stages will be laid out for you. Once you have finished brainstorming your story, you need simply to write through every element. This will form an excellent baseline to create an engaging and effective novel.
For more details and some questions to prompt each section, check out Evernote’s version of the three-act story plotting template here.
The Story Beats Template
This template was born from the world of script writing. It breaks the story down into “beats.” These continue to move the story along as each “beat” or milestone is completed.
This template is also available in more detail from Evernote.
The Spark Template
This book writing template was designed for novels and nonfiction books alike. It can be used with Microsoft Word, Apple Pages, and Adobe InDesign.
The Spark template is created to help you format your book for publishing, with less of a focus on the content itself.
This template offers support for both print and e-book publishing. You can find it available for purchase by clicking here.
The Pulp Template
This is another template that was created mainly to help you format your book for publishing. It offers a sleek and stylish design that is perfect for fiction as well as literary nonfiction.
You can buy it by clicking here.
The Britannia Template
This template is designed specifically for nonfiction writing. Another template to assist you in formatting your finished copy, it is easy to both understand and use.
It is compatible with Microsoft Word, Apple Pages, and Adobe InDesign. To preview and purchase the template, click here.
The No-Nonsense Novel Template
This is another book writing template that is useful for beginners and first-timers. It is an extension of the basic novel writing template that comes in Scrivener by default.
the template isn’t complex however it does offer some guidance in terms of structure and outlining. It contains sections for things like characters, settings, research, chapters, and scenes. In addition to these, it gives you a folder with a nine-point outline.
This basic but helpful template is designed for Scrivner and can be downloaded here.
The 30-Chapter Novel Template
This book writing template is a fantastic choice for first-time novel writers. While not every single novel is going to be 30 chapters, that number is a good average.
This template has a section for each of its 30 chapters already laid out for you.
Not only are they already created, but there are questions and thoughts to guide you through each chapter. These prompts are designed to keep your story on pace and keep events happening where they should.
All the chapters set up for you with their corresponding prompts. This is helpful for first-time novelists who may struggle with structure. It can also help in brainstorming for your outline if you choose to create one.
The World Building Leviathan Template
This book writing template is designed with fantasy in mind. Writing a fantasy novel requires extensive world building. A fantasy typically takes place in a realm or domain that is created entirely by the author.
This means that things such as physical laws, governments, and social classes need to be figured out. You also need to decide if you are writing a story about humans or other species. All of this is called world-building.
Building a world from scratch can be a terrifying and overwhelming thing to grasp. This is where the leviathan method comes in.
The leviathan method is simply a step-by-step look at your world. It asks you questions that create each piece of your new universe.
It is a comprehensive creation process, with a total of 52 steps. The steps and what they look like can be seen below:
As you can see, there are also sections for a “story bible,” characters, research, and more information on the world itself. A more complete world building template does not exist. This is where you want to be creating your fantasy.
Learning how to write a novel in the fantasy genre is an especially arduous task with all the different elements. This detailed and comprehensive template will take some of the pressure off.
It requires much time and effort, but it’s a template that will give you a whole new world by the end of it. If you think you have what it takes to go through the entire leviathan method, you can download the template for Scrivener here .
For a simpler and more straightforward fantasy template, you can check this one out:
This template still walks you through a fantasy novel. But, it focuses more on creating a novel that has a good structure, with fantasy specific elements.
The Personal Template
You may decide that none of the existing templates are going to work for you. It can happen – everyone is different. If this is the case, you may consider creating your own template.
Studying the professional templates already available will give you an idea of what to include for it to be successful. You can consider things like outlines, acts, parts, and varying structures.
You can create a personal combination of all the elements and suit it to your project specifically.
It won’t always be an easy task, but it may prove to be worth it in the end. You will be able to follow a guide that was curated especially for your book. If done correctly, this can help you create work that is truly fantastic.
You are never truly done learning how to write a novel. But, as you gain experience, you may be able to create successful templates of your own for others to use.
For a simple, generic guide to curating your own template, this example can be helpful:
This is an outline for a novel with no specific genre or style. It has some basic prompt for writing general fiction. You can easily add to this one and make it your own based on your book.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Book Writing Template
Each template is different and you will need to decide which is right for you and your book. These are some factors to consider when making the decision.
Even in a large and extensive template, navigation should be easy and fast. There should be no delay or confusion when it comes to flipping from one chapter or section to another.
A good template will be responsive and versatile.
It should be compatible with multiple devices and fit on multiple screen types and sizes. This ensures the maximum amount of accessibility among users.
It Should Have a Theme
The template you use should fit the theme of your book.
Don’t try to use a nonfiction template for your novel. Using a world-building fantasy template probably won’t work when trying to write a romance either.
More general templates can be good if you don’t know exactly where your story is going just yet.
For example, you know you want to write a nonfiction book but you haven’t chosen a topic yet. This general template will be helpful in sorting out the details:
You can easily add to this template to make it more specific for your book, once you figure it out.
Assess the Features and Abilities
Depending on the template’s intended usage, the built-in features will differ. Make sure you understand the available features of your chosen template. Not every feature will work for every book.
A Template Which Supports the Right Tone
You want the template you choose to use the correct language. You want to tell your story in the proper voice. Find a template that works with the style of your book.
There is a difference in the way fiction and nonfiction are written. Find a template that agrees with what you are doing.
How to Use Book Writing Templates
Many templates are versatile and serve many purposes. However, they are generally used for either planning and outlining, or actually writing the book. Below are some tips for planning and writing your book with a template.
For the Planning of the Book
As a writer, planning is always of the utmost importance. You want to achieve a good result, and those don’t come from thin air.
In addition to book writing templates, there are some other things you can do to collect and organize your thoughts. These methods are useful and effective when used in conjunction with your chosen template.
The Snowflake Method
The snowflake method is a specific process that is used to tell a story. There are steps to take and certain things you need to do to make it work.
This method is well-suited to writers who like to work in chronological order. If you like to start at the beginning and write straight through to the end, this method is for you. If you are interested, you can check out the detailed instructions we created for writing with the snowflake method here.
Track Your Story With Time
It is, of course, important to be aware of the plot of the story you are writing.
In addition to this, however, it is helpful to also consider the passage of time throughout your story. When planning the events of your book, note the time frame. How many days, months, years have passed?
Did this event happen in the morning or evening? This is a simple method that can help you keep track of where your characters are at all times. It will also help ensure you don’t get timelines mixed up and overlapped.
This is a method of writing that goes well with the 30 chapter novel template mentioned above.
The idea here is to simply outline each chapter before beginning to actually write.
To do this, go through the plot you have created and break it down into individual chapters. Once you have done that, create an outline for each chapter. This can include potential scenes, events, important revelations, character developments, etc.
Of course, things can be changed along the way. This is just one way of getting an overview of your story as a whole.
Using Book Writing Templates to Create Your Storyline
While the use of an outline is widely debated, there is no denying the need for a good quality storyline. Outline or no outline , this requires extensive knowledge of your characters and the world around them.
Well-written and relatable characters will give meaning to your story and make it memorable for the readers. There are a few things you can do to ensure you keep track of your characters as well as develop them correctly.
Create a Master List
This may or may not be necessary depending on your cast of characters. Some books contain a small handful of characters, in which case a master list might be moot.
However, any story with a large number of characters – whether big or small – is at risk of getting them confused.
This is why it might be a good idea to create a master list and keep it somewhere accessible.
All you need to do is create a list of your characters and note a few identifiable features. Name, brief backstory, and role in the story should suffice. Keep this on hand in case you need to remember who someone is or what they are supposed to do.
In addition to a master list, it may be worth creating short biographies for each main player in your story. Details of their past and their current life situation. This will help you keep everything straight in your mind, which will translate to consistency on the page.
Readers will pick up on holes and inconsistencies in your character’s stories in no time if you allow them to be there.
Character Development Sheet
A character development sheet is something that should be done for your protagonist as well as all the other main characters.
All this entails is a list of every attribute or characteristic the character possesses. Even small things that may never appear in the story can be important in you knowing who the character is at the core.
This knowledge, even if not mentioned in the book, can be helpful in figuring out how a character would react or what they would do in a situation. This will help you create the most believable and authentic story possible.
Your readers will love a character that so closely resembles a real person.
Do Your Best Work With Book Writing Templates
If you are struggling to write your book or just want to get done faster, you can never go wrong with a book writing template. They are there as a guide and are by no means set in stone. In addition to helping you create your book, they really want to help you learn how to become a better writer.
The template you find might be a perfect fit for your book. You may find yourself making zero changes.
Or, there might be a template that you love, but it needs tweaking to fit your project. This is fine too.
While these templates are some of the best, the options really are endless. So, open up your favorite book writing software, grab your template, and get to work!
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When You Write
10 Best Story Planning Software
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This is not an article for pantsers unless you have decided to repent and start planning your stories, and you’ve landed here.
You’re welcome, lost child. Welcome to the 10 best story planning software available in 2023.
Before most established authors sit down to start writing a bestseller, there are tons of things they have to mark off on their checklists. The prewriting stage involves a lot of thinking, plotting, researching, organizing, and polishing up their ideas.
The invention of story planning and writing software has removed some of this burden from writers and they can easily turn to an app to help them sort out their story planning stage.
That’s what this article is all about, Plottr (our overall best) and 9 other of the best story planning apps. But, before we get to that, let’s look at the reasons why story planning apps are must-haves for any writer.
Why you need Story Planning Software
1. speed and organization.
Most often, writing is a slow process, even slower when you do not plan the story well. Some writers prefer planning their story on a piece of paper, but that is a stone-age and inefficient way of going about it.
I agree with those who say that it feels legit writing using pen and paper, but planning software is faster and more organized. Not only do these apps save you time and energy, but they also inspire new ideas, especially the ones with mind maps.
2. Writing and Planning on the Go
Story planning apps such as Story Planner App are available on mobile devices (i.e., tablets and smartphones), allowing you to work on your manuscript and improve your writing anywhere, anytime.
While waiting for the bus, you can use websites and apps that help improve your prose. Something as simple as Lose the Very can improve your vocabulary in just moments. From there, you can go straight into your word processing app and practice what you’ve learned.
3. Constructive Feedback
Planning apps like Story Planner play the role of a virtual task manager and provide feedback that helps you keep track of what scenes you plan to write next.
Having this type of automated feedback is more efficient than having a person play this role because the apps are never late and they never forget (Well, unless there’s a glitch or an error in their code).
4. Some of these Apps Improve Your Writing
Some apps are designed to help through every stage of story writing—from planning to the final draft of your novel.
These apps come with specific tasks that can also help improve your overall writing. You can improve in various areas of your writing such as grammar, vocabulary, character development, formatting, et cetera.
10 Best Story Planning Apps
Plottr is a visual story plotting tool , a book planning software for writers that allows you to set up your story’s timeline, outlines, and set some other features before you begin the actual writing of your story.
This is the go-to app for a lot of writers who are looking to simplify the planning stage of their novel writing.
Plottr enables you to drag and drop scenes and plot lines. It also enables you to keep all the notes—related to the story you’re writing—in one place, create places, characters, and bits of backstories.
This tool allows you to visually organize your story or novel and link up different elements of that story (i.e., link your characters and places to your scenes), using colors to coordinate storylines.
And, when you want to see the progress you’ve made with the outline, Plottr automatically generates a neat outline of your story so that you can review, edit , or keep it if you’re satisfied.
- Easy to use (comes with tutorials and demos)
- One-time payment for the version bought
- Highly customizable
- No online version or cloud syncing
- No space for writing the actual draft
- World-building and tagging could be better
Pricing: Lifetime—$99 (1 Device), $149 (3 Devices), $199 (5 Devices). Annual—$25 (1 Device), $45 (3 Devices), $65 (5 Devices).
2. Plot Factory
Plot factory is an online tool that is perfect for co-authors or writers who want to collaborate on a book-writing project.
It’s a story planner that enables writers to plan, organize, and write stories, especially in the fiction category.
Plot Factory is an online, subscription-based platform, which—apart from planning your story— allows you to narrate your stories, collaborate with other writers, and export our stories as ePub files, ready for self-publishing.
So, as far as helping you with the planning stage, Plot Factory also has templates for creating outlines, helps you with world-building and creating characters, allows you to track word counts, and many other things relating to the planning and organizing stage of your story.
From that brief description, you can see that Plot factory is more than a story/novel planning tool. It’s focused on a lot of things and that it’s the right software for you if you’re looking for something that offers more features for advanced stages of the writing process.
In brief, these are the features you get when you subscribe to Plot Factory: Outline templates, Distraction-free plotting, templates for creating characters, templates for creating universes, word counts and statistics, name generator, narration, and sharing.
Plot Factory Pros
- Convenient plot templates
- Exports ePub files for publishing
- Affordable and has a free plan
- Works on many Operating systems (since it’s an online tool)
Plot Factory Cons
- Not available as a desktop app
- Its world-building capabilities are not convincing
Pricing: Basic (free), Hobbyist ($9/month, $90/year), Enthusiast ($14/month, $140/year), Novelist ($19/month, $190/year).
Scrivener is more than an outlining software… it’s exactly what literature and latte say it is: a ring-binder, scrapbook, and typewriter.
Scrivener is the go-to app for novelists, screenwriters, journalists, non-fiction writers, academics, translators, and other kinds of writers.
Scrivener—which is available on macOS, Windows, and iOS—helps writers organize their book by putting all their research, notes, and writing in one place.
It’s a great tool for all writers (whether fiction or nonfiction writers), but it’s for outlining nonfiction works and it’s easy to use.
And, it’s a good app for both plotters and pantsers , and if you’re a plotter, Scrivener is the tool you’re looking for—it lets you have everything in one window, your current writing in one window, and an overview of your manuscript in the adjacent window.
Here are the pros and cons of plotting features:
- Scrivener’s “household” license allows you to install Scrivener on any supported device
- Lifetime payment
- Has a steep learning curve
Pricing: macOS and Windows are charged separately but cost the same (Standard Licence costs $49 and educational license costs $41.65), iOS costs $19.99, and a discounted Scrivener bundle for both macOS and Windows that gives you separate licenses for each platform costs $80.
4. The Novel Factory
The Novel Factory is one of the few apps on this list that have in-depth features and can be used throughout the entire novel-writing process.
This is a gold mine for a new fiction writer in need of outlining software that can guide them through the plotting process.
For seasoned writers, the Novel Factory is just the tool they need to increase efficiency, but for new writers, it comes with loads of useful templates, learning resources, and intuitive interactive features, features that simplify the plotting process.
With The Novel Factory, you get the following features:
- You get to keep and organize all of your novel’s notes in one place. The software has features for notes on plot, characters, locations, and many others.
- You also get the “Roadmap feature,” which is a step-by-step writing guide and takes you from premise to final manuscript.
- Plot Manager, which helps you build the story’s plot from basic building blocks. It comes with time-saving plot templates for popular genres.
- Subplot manager, which you can use to make columns for plot threads, themes, characters, etc. The subplot manager also allows you to cross-reference notes with particular scenes.
- Freeform notes board. This new and improved notes section allows you to add text notes, images, links, etc.
- An in-depth character management tool for fleshing out your characters and creating character questionnaires, background, their voice, and other things.
This software was developed with both beginners and seasoned writers in mind.
The Novel Factory Pros
- Has a desktop app for windows that runs offline
- Excellent plot and scene management
- Thorough guidance.
- Automatic saving to the cloud.
- Tracking and statistics features.
The Novel Factory Cons
- The writing feature isn’t very intuitive
- Not compatible with Macs. No desktop version for Mac.
Pricing: Basic ($7.5/month, $75/year), Standard ($20/month, $198/year), and Premium ($60/month, $600/year).
5. World Anvil
This is an interesting option right here.
World Anvil is an online world-building platform that lets you create and manage the world for your story.
The platform allows users to plan their novel using a set of worldbuilding tools that enable them to create, organize and store your world setting.
It has wiki-like articles, interactive maps, historical timelines, novel-writing software, and many other tools that a writer needs to run an RPG campaign or write a novel.
World Anvil comes with over 25 world-building templates, a template for every aspect of your world.
The world-building template set is an extensive and inspiring set, which enables you to create characters, cities and settlements, record strange languages, and furnish new civilizations among other things.
World Anvil Pros
- Easy to use
- Has an excellent free version
- Inspiring templates
World Anvil Cons
- The free package comes with limited storage
- Doesn’t work offline
Pricing: They have three packages namely Journeyman, Master, and Grandmaster. Journeyman ($5/month, $14.50/3 months, $25/6 months, $50/year), Master ($6.50/month, $19/3 months, $34/6 months, $58/year), Grandmaster ($12/month, $34/3 months, $62/6 months, $105/year).
6. Story Planner App
Story Planner is a great app for outlining your writing and stories. This app has features that help you organize your characters, add details to your locations, tweak your plots, and build your scenes.
It simplifies the planning stage by helping you create scenes, build them up, organize them by dragging and dropping, and coloring each plot.
Plus, Story planner lets you sync your projects via iCloud, and export your projects to Scrivener, Final Draft, .doc, .txt, .rtf, and .pdf.
Story Planner Pros
Story planner cons.
- Only available on iOS and macOS
Pricing: iOS ($5.99), macOS ($9.99).
This is another novel writing software that is designed to simplify the entire novel-writing process.
The Bibisco team knows and posits that words are like bricks and writing a novel is like building a house.
That’s why they made an app to help you be the architect and the carpenter of your novel. The Bibisco, which is available on Mac, Windows, and Linux, is a combination of a word processor, organizer, and a creativity guide.
As an Outliner, there’s a lot of things you can do with bibisco. You can create a novel structure, define premise, and create narrative strings and geographic, temporal, and social settings.
Bibisco also enables you to design characters, the story’s location, and other elements crucial for the development of your story.
- Creative features for developing characters, locations, and other elements.
- Simple design, Easy to use, and hence has a gentle learning curve
- Has a low-restriction free version a 30-day money-back guarantee
- No mobile application
Pricing: Bibisco has a free version, but for its paid plan, which is called “the supporter’s edition,” the author of Bibisco suggests that you should “name a fair price” starting from 18€+VAT.
This is a totally different app from the first five on this list, not only is it versatile as a planning software but its visual presentation is in its own category.
It’s the variety of the planning features that amazes me. It has features like Fishbone, Logic Chart, Matrix, Timeline, Brace Map, and Org Chart.
All these features are designed to help the user visually organize related aspects, ideas, or events, and those are just a few of the tool’s capabilities. XMind also has features that offer in-depth comparative analysis and enable the user to track milestones and schedules.
The app lets you do all these things using clean, intuitive, and modern interfaces on your laptop and mobile devices, anytime and anywhere.
- Good variety of mapping features
- Unified pricing plan for all supported systems (Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android)
- Google Drive, Dropbox, Confluence, Google Sheets, and Lucidchart integrations.
- Speed could be improved
- Marking or labeling customized branches can be tiresome.
Pricing: Has One plan for 5 Macs/PCs and 5 iOS/Android personal devices, $39.99/6 months, $59.99/year.
Coggle, the second-best mind mapping tool on this, is the app you use when you’re trying to test possible relationships between different story ideas.
With Coggle you try to examine potential relationships between elements of your story, there is a difference: Coggle has a “free-forever” package.
Coggle allows you to create powerful flowcharts, process maps, and other visual representations. It also allows you to color-code paths, drag-and-drop as many images as you like to your diagrams, add text labels, link branches, and create loops to create a comprehensible timeline,
- The mind maps look great
- Doesn’t have an auto-sort/arrange feature
- Limited customization options, font colors, and shapes
Pricing: Free Forever (free), Awesome Package ($5/month), and Organization ($8/month).
10. Google Docs
I doubt that Google Docs is what comes to mind when you think about outlining software, but almost everyone is using Google Docs to write something.
People share short story drafts on Google Docs, freelance writers share samples with potential clients on Google Docs, and writers from different parts of the world collaborate using this tool.
And, it’s a free app!
So, it might not be the standard outlining software that everyone’s talking about, but it’s a legit word processor that enables you to craft neat outlines, allows you to work with teams, and helps you track changes made to your outline.
I didn’t forget the autosave feature, did I? Oh, sorry, so yeah, with Google Docs you don’t have to waste valuable time pressing “ctrl+s” or clicking “save” on the “file” drop-down menu.
Google Docs Pros
- Simple, clean, intuitive interface
- Great collaboration features
Google Docs Cons
- Online tool, editing only possible online.
- Not a comprehensive outlining tool
- Size of a document affects performance. Slow when processing large documents
What to Look for in a Story Planning App
Writing a novel-worthy story takes a lot of effort and time, it doesn’t make sense to use an app that makes the writing more stressful than it already is.
To lessen the planning burden, good planning software should have some or all of the following characteristics:
When looking for a story planning app, you have to look for one that helps you keep notes about your characters, a record of events, a timeline, and/or mind maps, all in the same place.
With all these things in one window, you need an app that is clean and intuitive enough for you to find your way and tidily organize your writing.
Elegant Visual Presentation
Good planning software ought to have features that aid in telling the story before you start writing it.
Take, for example, Coggle and XMind, they come with features that help you arrange the timeline visually and colorfully.
Auto-Save and Cloud Storage Options
An auto-save function means that you won’t lose your work if the program suddenly malfunctions, the file will be stored and saved securely.
But, you also need the app to save your work on a cloud drive. In case that your computer’s processor gets fried or the drive stops working, there’s no way of retrieving the data unless you’re a super geek (which you’re obviously not).
So, you need software that stores your files on Google Drive, iCloud, Dropbox, or other cloud storage platforms.
It’s perfectly okay for you to be a pantser, but it’s not okay for you to be a plotter whose planning involves scribbling a bunch of lines on a piece of paper.
You need dedicated story planning software such as Plottr , and if you’re using novel writing software like Scrivener , then you don’t necessarily need a dedicated app for planning your story because you can plan, outline, and write using the same program.
So, what are you waiting for? Start planning that bestseller now!
About Jessica Majewski
Jessica started off as an avid book reader. After reading one too many romance novels (really... is it ever really enough?), she decided to jump to the other side and started writing her own stories. She now shares what she has learned (the good and the not so good) here at When You Write, hoping she can inspire more up and coming wordsmiths to take the leap and share their own stories with the world.
A Daily Planner to Help You Develop, Structure, and Write A Book
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You’ve been bitten by the writing bug. You know you have a book inside of you and it’s dying to come out!
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We care about people like you. We know it’s not easy writing a book, especially while navigating the many mental roadblocks and life’s obligations already pulling you in a million directions.
We’re The Write Practice. Our blog is ready by 5,000,000 writers every year and our flagship course, 100 Day Book, has helped thousands of writers like you publish their books! In fact, over 60% of writers who have taken the course actually finish. And with our new product, The Write Plan Planner, we’ve turned that same tested process into a daily tool for you to use at home.
Ready to write your book? Here’s the first step:
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Buy the Write Plan Planner or download a free sample of our daily tracking pages to try it for yourself.
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Story Planner for Writers 4+
Outline novels & screenplays.
- #30 in Productivity
- 4.7 • 843 Ratings
Story Planner is an easy-to-use and yet powerful tool for plotting novels, screenplays, and any fiction story. It works great for writers, screenwriters, producers, directors, RPG masters … All kinds of storytellers! And it offers quick and intuitive story organization, with sync on all your devices and export options to help you write the best stories wherever you are. No matter if you are a professional writer or just starting. With Story Planner, outlining will be the easiest, fastest, and most fun part of your writing process. NOVEL & SCREENPLAY ORGANIZER • Create custom projects to plan fictional stories • Organize projects by tags • Archive projects to keep them around, but out of your way • Take notes of your ideas within each project • Easily switch between the different parts of your project OUTLINE ALL YOUR STORIES • Get all the elements of your stories linked to each other • Create detailed characters and locations • Add images to make a more complete profile • Organize the plot lines of your stories and assign them a color • Divide your structure into acts, parts, chapters, or episodes • Develop the structure scene by scene • Write your scenes in any order and reorganize later with Drag & Drop • Track different threads using plot colors and tags • Assign tags to any element in the story for a better organization • Quick search and filter tool • Split-View on your iPad • Multiple windows on your Mac • Keyboard shortcuts to boost your productivity on your Mac and iPad GET CONTROL • Look over the whole structure with the Revision Mode • Check the stats to better understand how your story works • Set goals and track your progress • Configure the widgets to see the progress bar on your home screen (on iOS) • Turn on the info buttons to learn more about the parts of the planning and creative process • Light and dark modes • Set your favorite color theme SAFETY & PRIVACY • Story Planner is private: We cannot see your projects, in any case • Protection by code or Face/Touch ID • Automatic backups WORK ANYWHERE • Sync your projects via iCloud and access them on your Mac, iPad, and iPhone (iOS and macOS versions available separately) EXPORT YOUR WORK • Compile to a single document for sharing or printing • Choose the parts of your project you want to export • Choose the appearance of the exported files • Print or create PDF files • Export to Word • Export to Scrivener 2 and 3 • Export to Final Draft • Export to Ulysses (with the Word files option) ONE PRICE ONLY • Story Planner does NOT include in-app purchases • When you buy the app, you have access to all features • We won't bother you with in-app subscriptions, ever • Universal for iPad and iPhone. • macOS version available separately QUESTIONS? You can check our Youtube Channel to watch Story Planner in action. You can also visit our website for more information or contact us via email or Twitter. We are always happy to assist you. • Youtube Channel: bit.ly/StoryPlannerApp • Website: www.storyplanner.app • Email: [email protected] • Twitter: @StoryPlannerApp THANK YOU! We put thousands of hours into developing and improving Story Planner. We read every single one of your reviews and always consider your suggestions, so don't hesitate to write to us if you have any thoughts on improving the app. And if you enjoy using Story Planner, please take a minute to leave us a review. Thank you! :)
*** Bugs Fixed in 5.7.1 *** · We have fixed the issue where the layout was not displayed correctly on the iPad Mini 6th Generation. *** What's New in 5.7 *** · Story Planner is now ready for iPadOS 16 and Mac Ventura. · We have made Story Planner fully compatible with State Manager. Now, you will get the most out of multitasking with Story Planner on your iPad and Mac. · Story Planner now works with the new Find & Replace feature, so you can find and replace text within the text fields. · We've added a feature that allows you to keep editing at the same point in Story Planner after leaving and re-entering the app. · We've improved date & time navigation for Beginning and Ending at the Scene Cards. Now, you can easily jump into a specific year with the new 'Go to Year' function. *** Bugs Fixed in 5.7 *** · We have fixed a bug that affected changing languages on Mac and iPad. Now, if you change the language in the app settings while you have a card open, the language will be updated correctly. You can follow our news or send us your feedback via Twitter at @StoryPlannerApp and via e-mail at [email protected] Thanks, and happy outlining!
Ratings and Reviews
This is a good app but it would be even more useful with a few improvements
This app is really well made but it would help a lot if the option to add dialogue to each scene would be added. I am coming up with my story on the go using this app because I lack the time to sit down and write a story. I need to be able to write the bulk of the story on my phone, because I’d never write it if I have to sit down on a computer to do so. I don’t want to have to use a separate app just for the dialogue when I have everything outlined on this one. So, I would really love the option to write dialogue within this app for each scene. Additionally, another feature that would be helpful is the ability to create more specific characters, such as having a section for the likes & dislikes of each character. These can guide me as I’m writing the story. Also, I appreciate that this app allows me to copy a character to another project, because this is helpful for crossover characters, but I have a small suggestion about this feature. Right now, I can only select one story at a time to copy the character to. It would be nice if multiple selection was possible, which would allow me to copy a character to several stories at once. With these things said, I like what this app is currently able to do and it’s one of the best story writing apps I’ve tried. But I hope it will become even better, so that I’ll be able to write more of my story in it.
Developer Response ,
Hi there! Thank you very much for your feedback. It is really appreciated. We have added your suggestions to the customers' wish list, and we will consider implementing them in future updates. However, have you contemplated the option of writing the dialogue in the Notes section within the scene cards? Do you think that could work for you? If you have any more thoughts on this topic, you can also write to us at [email protected] We are always happy to get your feedback. :) Happy Writing!
Great app for outlining
I’ve tried a bunch of apps for writing and this is definitely my favorite. This app has been great for keeping all my writing organized and allowing me to outline on the go across devices. It’s also great for fleshing out characters, and I like that you can add photos for characters and locations. It’s also wonderful to be able to have as many notes as you’d like in the note section and not have to keep your research and ideas elsewhere. The app works well across devices and it’s handy to be able to add little things that pop into your head at odd times. One thing I’d love to see added would be a section for a timeline to keep track of world events/when scenes take place in relation to them for the purpose of world building and avoiding mistakes. I’m currently using the notes section for this, but it would be nice for such a timeline to be more integrated with the other aspects of the app (such as being able to indicate that certain characters were present at an in-world historical event in a more visual way than plain text allows).
Hi there! Thank you very much for your comment. It is really appreciated, and we are glad you like the app. The timeline is one of the features we want to add in the future, although I still can't assure you of a specific date for it. We are a small company, and we cannot add the new features as quickly as we would like. But we believe in the feedback from our users, and we take into account all your suggestions. So don't hesitate to write to us if you have any more thoughts on improving the app. :) Happy Writing!
Excellent writing tool
I got adhd, so I have a hard time organizing. I definitely don’t regret the $5 or whatever I dropped on this. If I could say I desire anything from it that it doesn’t provide yet, maybe more places to put pictures and visual references, maybe in the notes section. Something to where you can pull up visual references you may have uploaded into the app easily. And possibly have more dungeon master friendly tools. This app is mainly for getting stories written, but with a few settings and jigs, this app could easily be a one stop shop for dnd people to get an adventure/campaign written. Things like places for stats or have it ask you what format you want out of novel/game when you open a new project, just spitballing. I’ve been able to get SOME use out of it for that purpose, but as it stands, my final drafts of a game end up in a different app altogether. Other than that, this is my favorite writing app when getting organized before I jump into the pages.
Thank you very much for your comment. We are glad you enjoy Story Planner. And thank you as well for your suggestions! They will help you to keep improving the app. :)
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Carrying Value or Book Value
Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®
Reviewed by editorial team.
Updated on February 21, 2023
Why Trust Finance Strategists?
Table of Contents
What is carrying value.
Carrying value or book value is the value of an asset according to the figures shown (carried) in a company's balance sheet .
Carrying value is calculated as the original cost of the asset less any depreciation , amortization, or impairment costs.
Formula to Calculate Carrying or Book Value
Book Value or Carrying Value = Total Assets - Total Liabilities
Tangible Book Value = Tangible Assets - Total Liabilities
In the second formula, tangible assets is equal to (total assets - goodwill and intangible assets).
Uses of Carrying or Book Value
Carrying value has two main uses:
- When carrying value is compared to an enterprise's market value, it can indicate whether a stock is underpriced or overpriced.
- In personal finance , an investment's carrying value is the price paid for it in shares/stock or debt. When this stock or debt is sold, the selling price less the book value is the capital gain/loss from an investment.
Therefore, carrying value is the accounting value of the enterprise. In other words, it is the total value of the enterprise's assets that owners (shareholders) would theoretically receive if an enterprise was liquidated.
In reality, carrying value does not always reflect what shareholders will receive in the event of liquidation.
For example, even if the inventory is stated at full cost (100% value) in the books, who would want to buy a bunch of Pentium IV chips if the company goes out of business ?
This means that the realization value of assets of ongoing concern is different from the value of assets under liquidation.
It is important to predict the fair value of all assets when an enterprise stops its operations.
Generally, it is estimated that the fair values of cash and cash equivalents , short-term investments (less than one year), and long-term investments (beyond one year) are equal to 100% of the book value .
The fair values of different items are given below:
- Accounts receivable ( Debtors + B/R) and inventory items are equal to 50% of the carrying value.
- Plant and equipment items are equal to around 25% of the carrying value.
- Land and buildings, in a business-oriented city, may be beyond 100% of the carrying value.
- Goodwill and intangible items are equal to 0%.
- Liabilities , because they should be paid in full, have a fair value equal to 100% of the carrying value.
Hence, if an enterprise undergoes liquidation, the fair value prediction of assets clearly indicates that the owners (shareholders) cannot receive the net carrying value of assets.
Importantly, this thought process for determining carrying value versus fair value prediction paves the way for the concept of entity value (or enterprise value ), which is a holistic measure of organizational value.
Using the table below, calculate the following:
- Carrying value of the assets
- Tangible book value of the assets
- Carrying Value = Total Assets - Total Liabilities $6,000,000 - $1,200,000 = $4,800,000 Liabilities = Debentures + Bank Overdraft + Accounts Payable = $600,000 + $400,000 + $200,000 = $1,200,000
- Tangible Book Value = Total Tangible Assets - Total Liabilities = $5,100,000 - $1,200,000 = $3,900,000 Tangible Assets = Total Assets - (Goodwill + Patent Rights) = $6,000,000 - ($500,000 + $400,000) = $5,100,000
Carrying Value or Book Value FAQs
What is the carrying value.
The carrying value of an asset is its net worth—the amount at which the asset is currently valued on the balance sheet.
How do I calculate the carrying values?
The carrying values of an asset can be calculated by subtracting the total liabilities of that particular asset from its total assets. In case the value obtained is negative, it means that the asset has a net loss or it can be said that its losses exceed its profits, thus making it a liability.
What are the uses of a carrying value?
In personal finance, an investment’s carrying value is the price paid for it in shares/stock or debt. When this stock or debt is sold, the selling price less the book value is the capital gain/loss from an investment. Therefore, carrying value is the accounting value of the enterprise. In other words, it is the total value of the enterprise's assets that owners would theoretically receive if an enterprise was liquidated.
What is the difference between a carrying value and a book value?
Book value is the accounting value of an asset. Carrying value, on the other hand, is the theoretical or expected exit (liquidation) value that shareholders would receive if they were to sell all their assets and pay off all associated debt at once. So, your book values are actual values that you list in your financial reports while your carrying values are the 'estimated' or 'appraised value' that you would get if you were to sell off all your assets.
What is the difference between a book value and a fair market value?
All three terms can be used interchangeably because they refer to the same thing - the true market value of an asset at any given point in time.
About the Author
True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®
True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.
True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), author of The Handy Financial Ratios Guide , a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute , as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University , where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.
To learn more about True, visit his personal website , view his author profile on Amazon , or check out his speaker profile on the CFA Institute website .
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Carrying value or book value is the value of an asset according to the figures shown (carried) in a company's balance sheet. Carrying value is calculated as the original cost of the asset less any depreciation, amortization, or impairment costs. Formula to Calculate Carrying or Book Value. Book Value or Carrying Value = Total Assets - Total ...