6. How to Plan Your new Novel in Detail

The Novel Formula - A Novel Writing Method: Step Six

Extended Synopsis

It's time to expand on your short synopsis. This is a really fun time, because you can let your imagination loose and start adding the detail that will make your story delicious and compelling.

Take your short synopsis and expand it into about four or five pages - but don't worry about being too dogmatic, give yourself a free rein. If it turns out to be ten pages, so be it.

The combination of your short synopsis and character synopses mean you'll probably be bursting with ideas, and getting new ones faster than you can get them down - but these ideas can be fitted into a robust structure, rather than just being an incoherent spaghetti mess.

You'll probably find that you need to keep going back and making small adjustments as you realise this or that needs to have happened, been foreshadowed or mentioned, in order for something later to work.

Having this high level overview but beginning to work the character and story threads together, and seeing the scenes unfold allows you to spot plot holes and inconsistencies early, and iron them our before you've written ten chapters that will all need binning because of the flaw.

This synopsis will not only give you a great grounding for writing a great story with the minimum rambling and wasted effort, but is also what publishers will be asking you for when you want to submit your novel. It's likely to be the deal maker or breaker, before they even read the first line of your manuscript - so you want to make sure it doesn't let you down!

Click here for the next step - full character questionnaires.


  1. All of this information is very interesting and informative for a beginning writer such as myself. The sad thing is that I can only get to step 6... I see that it was posted a very long time ago, but if at all possible please direct me to the rest of your work here. Thanks!

  2. Wow...so you can only get to step six. Any chance of me purchasing something from your site has greatly diminished because I feel cheated..

  3. My apologies for that - there seems to be an issue with the links since we updated our blog design - but you can find all the steps here: http://www.novel-software.com/novelwritingroadmap.aspx