How to Create a Novel Outline Template Chapter By Chapter?

Writing a novel is an ambitious endeavor that requires careful planning. One proven method to streamline the writing process and ensure a well-structured novel is to use a chapter-by-chapter outline. The following guide will help you understand how to create an effective novel outline using a specific 24-chapter template.

The Value of a Chapter-By-Chapter Outline

A chapter-by-chapter outline offers a detailed roadmap for your novel, laying out what happens in each chapter. This approach fleshes out the story, providing a clear path from the beginning to the end. It can make the writing process faster and easier, and help avoid plot inconsistencies and holes.

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Overview of a 24-Chapter Novel Outline

A 24-chapter novel outline is an effective and flexible template suitable for most commercial fiction. Each chapter has a specific function and purpose, following a logical progression that perfectly fits a 50,000 to 75,000-word novel.

Here’s a simplified overview of the 24-chapter novel outline:

  • Chapter 1: Introduction to the protagonist and the Ordinary World
  • Chapters 2-5: Introduction of conflict, problems and the Call to Adventure
  • Chapters 6-9: Protagonist’s interaction with the antagonist or forces of evil
  • Chapters 10-14: Unfolding of the protagonist’s plan
  • Chapters 15-18: Consequences of the protagonist’s actions and revelations
  • Chapters 19-23: Crushing defeat, rising tension, and major transformation
  • Chapter 24: Return to the Ordinary World, wrapping up the story

Note: Each chapter is designed to work in a certain way, but this doesn’t mean you can’t modify it to suit your story. Flexibility and adaptability are key when using any template.

How to Use a 24-Chapter Novel Outline

Once you understand what each chapter in the 24-chapter novel outline entails, it’s time to apply it to your story.

  • Chapter Descriptions: Write a brief summary for each chapter using the template as a guide. This helps create a clear vision for each chapter.
  • Characters: Consider how your characters interact with each chapter’s requirements. Add notes on their development, struggles, and victories in each chapter.
  • Plot Development: Take into account all major plot points. They should align with the chapter outlines to create a harmonious story flow.
  • Flexibility: Don’t hesitate to add additional scenes or modify chapters to align with your plot. The template should serve your story, not vice versa.

This 24-chapter novel outline can even be combined with AI tools to further speed up the outlining process.

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Creating a novel outline chapter-by-chapter can be a daunting task, but the 24-chapter novel outline offers an efficient and effective framework. With careful planning and a focus on character development, tension, and plot, this method can lead to a well-rounded manuscript ready to captivate your readers. Regardless of the genre or complexity of your story, keep in mind that every story is unique and your outline should serve your story, not constrain it. Embrace the process, adapt where necessary, and witness your novel unfold piece by piece.

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