For starting to write your novel, you need to organize your ideas first. Writing a novel without a content plan is a sheer invitation for wasting effort and a false start. It is like driving from one town to another without checking the road map and just going on with your intuition. There are chances that you may end up at the right place but may have already wasted your time on dead ends.
You never had to know what you are trying to write in every paragraph for every chapter, but for maximum productivity, you are required to know:
- Each chapter title
- Briefing for every chapter
- Supporting fact, main points you intend to include in the chapters
Having a map in your mind and laying it out on a sheet will help you organize the content in the best possible way. There are many alternatives to Scrivener to help you out digitally in organizing your content.
Here are some quick tips to help you in organizing your content for writing a novel:
- Prepare an outline:
Starting a novel without a concrete content plan will ensure wastage of valuable time by just looking at the blank screen. This is because you are simultaneously trying to know what you are looking forward to while writing. In the end, you will spend more time worrying, and it will not be productive for you.
With a well-laid outline and plan, you will be able to start writing every chapter immediately. Because without planning, your brain will get drained out, and it doesn’t matter what you are doing, driving, relaxing, or sleeping, your brain will be busy thinking about the outline or upcoming chapter or for ideas, making connections, and preparing yourself for the next writing schedule.
- Planning Tools:
There is never a single or right way for anyone to organize the ideas in a properly sequenced chapter series. It may be an efficient, invigorating process for any person, and it can be unproductive and frustrating for another.
There are two types of tools that you can use for organizing your thoughts or ideas: computer-based tools (spreadsheets, storyboards, mind maps, transcription, etc.) and low-tech tools (like hanging folders, sticky notes, index cards, etc.). Either approach is valuable if you organize your ideas for writing a content plan for your novel.
Also, you can come up with an approach that can combine elements of both approaches.
- Chronological Order:
The chronological arrangement serves the below list of purposes:
- For storytelling or relating it to an experience.
- For explaining the history of a topic or event
- For explaining the various steps involved in the process
- To explain how to make something
The chronological arrangement is most of the time used in writing novels and is one of the forms of writing that can explain, inform or describe the process. For using the chronological order, try arranging the events in the order they happened or will be happening in the future. You can also use words like first, second, later, then, and finally. The transition words will guide you, and the reader will understand the novel while going from one chapter to another.
- Fill in the gaps:
Checking all your ideas laid in a particular order will allow you to realize that there is much more to do. But don’t worry, it’s a part of the process; based on your outline, you need to ask yourself, which character do you want to develop further?
If the storyline needs reworking, do that. But focus on ensuring that your characters are interesting and appeal to the readers and the plot is well written. Make notes, and once finished, they will help visualize what still needs to be completed to get your story back on track.
Writing has always been a creative process and also sitting at a single spot every time and gazing at the screen will never help in exercising your muscles.
Try sketching, painting, drawings, and going on a long walk to the nearby park or coffee shop. Going out and doing something will help you in re-energizing yourself and organizing your content well.
The above-stated five tips would help you in organizing content for your novel. Do have a look at them and pick the ones that work for you.