• STEP 1: One-Sentence Summary. (Up to an hour) (Keep it at or under 15 words.)

  • When a shop owner hires a bookkeeper from out of town, she gets more than expected.

  • STEP 2: Expand the sentence to a full paragraph. (Up to an hour) (Describe the story setup, the major disasters, and the ending.) (three disasters and an ending)

  • Avis

  • Henry or Charlie

  • Avis’ sister

  • Charlie’s old boss

  • Avis’ shop manager

  • Local deputy/sheriff

  • Avis’ aunt and uncle

  • Henry’s neighbor

  • Henry’s landlord

  • Avis’ Neighbor, shop owner next door

  • Henry’s former business partner (partners?)

  • STEP 3: Character storylines. (Up to an hour for each character) (A high-level look at each of the major characters).
    Character name
    One-sentence summary of the character´s storyline
    What the character wants in the abstract (character´s motivation)
    What the character wants concretely (character´s goal)
    What prevents the character from reaching the goal (character´s conflict)
    How will the character learn/how will the character change? (c´s epiphany)

  • Char1

  • Char2

  • Char3, etc

  • STEP 4: Take several hours and expand each sentence of your summary paragraph into a full paragraph. All but the last paragraph should end in disaster. You should end up with about a one-page, single spaced, synopsis of the novel. You can always go back and tweak previous steps from here on in!

  • STEP 5: Take a day or two and write up a one-page description of each major character and a half-page description of the other important characters. Each one should tell the story from the point of view of the character.

  • STEP 6: Take a week and expand the one-page plot synopsis of the novel to a four page synopsis. Basically, expand each paragraph from (4) into a full page. This creates a high-level logic of the story and will include making some strategic decisions. *You can go back and fix things in the earlier steps as you gain more insight into the story and new ideas come up.

  • STEP 7: Revise step 3. (may take a full month) This should lead to full fledged character charts with details (birthdays!) Description, history, motivation, goal, etc., including how the character will change by the end of the novel.

  • STEP 8: Take the product from step 6 and create a spreadsheet detailing the scenes that emerge from it. One line per scene. Columns: one to describe the scene/tell what happens; one to estimate how many pages you expect to write for the scene; one for number chapters later on.

  • STEP 9: Start writing the novel. One scene per line of the spreadsheet. You will notice when you´re writing when you need to add more dialogue, when you need to touch up the conflict in the scenes. Get to it.

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(Up to an hour for each character) (A high-level look at each of the major characters). \nCharacter name\nOne-sentence summary of the character´s storyline\nWhat the character wants in the abstract (character´s motivation)\nWhat the character wants concretely (character´s goal)\nWhat prevents the character from reaching the goal (character´s conflict)\nHow will the character learn/how will the character change? (c´s epiphany)"},{"_id":"760a27233087d63e0a00000a","treeId":"760a3aabce4f34dec7000011","seq":12742822,"position":1.5,"parentId":"760a306b3087d63e0a000006","content":"Char1"},{"_id":"760a26b33087d63e0a00000b","treeId":"760a3aabce4f34dec7000011","seq":12742823,"position":1.75,"parentId":"760a306b3087d63e0a000006","content":"Char2"},{"_id":"760a267d3087d63e0a00000c","treeId":"760a3aabce4f34dec7000011","seq":12742824,"position":1.875,"parentId":"760a306b3087d63e0a000006","content":"Char3, etc"},{"_id":"760a253b3087d63e0a00000d","treeId":"760a3aabce4f34dec7000011","seq":12742826,"position":1,"parentId":"760a267d3087d63e0a00000c","content":"STEP 4: Take several hours and expand each sentence of your summary paragraph into a full paragraph. All but the last paragraph should end in disaster. You should end up with about a one-page, single spaced, synopsis of the novel. You can always go back and tweak previous steps from here on in!"},{"_id":"760a205b3087d63e0a000010","treeId":"760a3aabce4f34dec7000011","seq":12742836,"position":1,"parentId":"760a253b3087d63e0a00000d","content":"STEP 5: Take a day or two and write up a one-page description of each major character and a half-page description of the other important characters. Each one should tell the story from the point of view of the character."},{"_id":"760a1c233087d63e0a000011","treeId":"760a3aabce4f34dec7000011","seq":12742839,"position":1,"parentId":"760a205b3087d63e0a000010","content":"STEP 6: Take a week and expand the one-page plot synopsis of the novel to a four page synopsis. Basically, expand each paragraph from (4) into a full page. This creates a high-level logic of the story and will include making some strategic decisions. *You can go back and fix things in the earlier steps as you gain more insight into the story and new ideas come up."},{"_id":"760a19be3087d63e0a000012","treeId":"760a3aabce4f34dec7000011","seq":12742840,"position":1,"parentId":"760a1c233087d63e0a000011","content":"STEP 7: Revise step 3. (may take a full month) This should lead to full fledged character charts with details (birthdays!) Description, history, motivation, goal, etc., including how the character will change by the end of the novel."},{"_id":"760a15893087d63e0a000014","treeId":"760a3aabce4f34dec7000011","seq":12742842,"position":1,"parentId":"760a19be3087d63e0a000012","content":"STEP 8: Take the product from step 6 and create a spreadsheet detailing the scenes that emerge from it. One line per scene. Columns: one to describe the scene/tell what happens; one to estimate how many pages you expect to write for the scene; one for number chapters later on."},{"_id":"760a13f43087d63e0a000015","treeId":"760a3aabce4f34dec7000011","seq":12742843,"position":1,"parentId":"760a15893087d63e0a000014","content":"STEP 9: Start writing the novel. One scene per line of the spreadsheet. You will notice when you´re writing when you need to add more dialogue, when you need to touch up the conflict in the scenes. Get to it."},{"_id":"760a0d9b3087d63e0a000016","treeId":"760a3aabce4f34dec7000011","seq":12742855,"position":2,"parentId":null,"content":"When a shop owner hires a bookkeeper from out of town, she gets more than expected."},{"_id":"7609fe713087d63e0a000017","treeId":"760a3aabce4f34dec7000011","seq":12742860,"position":1,"parentId":"760a0d9b3087d63e0a000016","content":"Avis"},{"_id":"7609e8043087d63e0a000018","treeId":"760a3aabce4f34dec7000011","seq":12742870,"position":2,"parentId":"760a0d9b3087d63e0a000016","content":"Henry or Charlie"},{"_id":"7609e68a3087d63e0a000019","treeId":"760a3aabce4f34dec7000011","seq":12742871,"position":3,"parentId":"760a0d9b3087d63e0a000016","content":"Avis' sister"},{"_id":"7609e61d3087d63e0a00001a","treeId":"760a3aabce4f34dec7000011","seq":12742867,"position":4,"parentId":"760a0d9b3087d63e0a000016","content":"Charlie's old boss"},{"_id":"7609e1c73087d63e0a00001c","treeId":"760a3aabce4f34dec7000011","seq":12742872,"position":5,"parentId":"760a0d9b3087d63e0a000016","content":"Avis' shop manager"},{"_id":"7609e03a3087d63e0a00001d","treeId":"760a3aabce4f34dec7000011","seq":12742873,"position":6,"parentId":"760a0d9b3087d63e0a000016","content":"Local deputy/sheriff"},{"_id":"7609df763087d63e0a00001e","treeId":"760a3aabce4f34dec7000011","seq":12742874,"position":7,"parentId":"760a0d9b3087d63e0a000016","content":"Avis' aunt and uncle"},{"_id":"7609dc793087d63e0a00001f","treeId":"760a3aabce4f34dec7000011","seq":12742875,"position":8,"parentId":"760a0d9b3087d63e0a000016","content":"Henry's neighbor"},{"_id":"7609dbb53087d63e0a000020","treeId":"760a3aabce4f34dec7000011","seq":12742876,"position":9,"parentId":"760a0d9b3087d63e0a000016","content":"Henry's landlord"},{"_id":"7609db4e3087d63e0a000021","treeId":"760a3aabce4f34dec7000011","seq":12742877,"position":10,"parentId":"760a0d9b3087d63e0a000016","content":"Avis' Neighbor, shop owner next door"},{"_id":"7609d9fc3087d63e0a000022","treeId":"760a3aabce4f34dec7000011","seq":12742878,"position":11,"parentId":"760a0d9b3087d63e0a000016","content":"Henry's former business partner (partners?)"}],"tree":{"_id":"760a3aabce4f34dec7000011","name":"Snowflake Template","publicUrl":"snowflake-template"}}