Whether you’re a “plotter” or a “pantser,” every writer needs some method to organize his or her work. There are many tools available to writers today, but I thought I would take a moment and gather up some great novel outline templates from around the web, similar to how I did with my free scrivener templates part 1 and free scrivener templates part 2 posts. Once you’ve got some of your novel’s details worked out in your head, you’ll want to start logging them somewhere. If you’re struggling with ideas, I’ve included some worksheets too. That said, an outline is a great place to start! When you’re ready, below you will find a series of free novel outline and worksheet templates that can be found on the web from other authors who share the same passion you do for writing.
NOVEL OUTLINE TEMPLATES AND WORKSHEETS
Remember to right click and choose “Save As” for the links that point directly to to the templates.
- Belinda Crawford, who I also mentioned in my scrivener templates post, also has an excel spreadsheet template of Dan Well’s 7 point plot structure, which I use personally in my writing.
- Annie Neugebauer has put together a novel plotting worksheet here as well as a worksheet version with prompts. She has also put together a nice page with all her other templates as well. Check out her website. It’s great!
- Over at Cindy Grigg’s site she has taken inspiration from the snapshot of J.K. Rowlings handwritten outline of the famous Harry Potter series, and created her own novel or series outline template.
- The folks at Duolit have a lot of great content to help you in your writer’s journey. Over here they have listed out several templates for various parts of the writing process, but I’ll include the super basic plot outline template, the detailed plot outline template, and the Freytag model (rising and falling action).
- How to write a novel has a post on outlining. Here is the story arch outline template, and a chapter by chapter outline template as well.
- The Creative Writing Now site has a long post on outlining several aspects of writing, and one that includes a novel outline summary worksheet.
- Adelpho books posted a pretty comprehensive template here.
- Writer’s Digest has a whole bunch of tools for writers. Their Story Tracker template follows the 3 act structure, their climax worksheet can help you work out a critical time in your novel. These are all listed in their novel in 30 days post.
- Cate Hogan has created a nice chapter outline worksheet to help you work through your novel’s outline.
- Tim Grahl has put together a super detailed workbook on plotting and outlining your novel called Rock Your Plot.
- Lauren Layne’s post on how she outlines her novels has a nice template for you to check out. It focuses on scene, but can be thought of in a larger context as well.
- Over at Emma Darwin’s site she explains how to help yourself in the novel planning process. She created a template she calls the Novel Plot Grid.
- Angela Quarles has combined a couple of writing methodologies and come up with what she calls the Engineering Worksheet. Its a mix of the four act/part structure, and beat sheets etc.
- Jami Gold has quite a few worksheets and templates for the various stages of the writing process. Check out her worksheet page: Elements of a good scene, Elements of a good scene in Excel, Story development and revision worksheet etc.
Let me know what you think in the comments. Do you have some links to share? Put them in the comments too!
In his free time Justin loves to read, write, and play games. He enjoys his close friends, and loves to make people laugh. To learn more about Justin, or his work, you can visit him at www.justinswapp.com
Justin is the author of The Magic Shop. He has also been published in several anthologies, including The Crimson Pact (Volumes 1, 2, and 5), The Memory Eater, and Short Sips: Coffee House Flash Fiction Collection 2.