27 Chapters to a Better Novel

Posted December 24, 2014 by Briana in Outlining / 0 Comments

Scrivener Writing Software Corkboard View
After reading K.M. Weiland’s OUTLINING YOUR NOVEL, I’m a reformed pantser who’s seen the light. I downloaded a Scrivener template based on her book, but the template horrified me. It stressed me out. I couldn’t used it.

Some messing around on YouTube led to my discovering this novel outlining video. Little did I know that it would change my life. The video is long, but it’s worth the watch. The outline method presented in the video is as easy to understand as it is effective.

In the video, user Kaytastic presents a 27 chapter novel outline. The story structure for a 27 chapter novel is as follows:

Act I
Set up- Introduce hero & ordinary world.
C1: Introduction (set up).
C2: Inciting incident (conflict).
C3: Immediate reaction (resolution).
Conflict- A problem disrupts hero’s life.
C4: Reaction (set up).
C5: Action (conflict).
C6: Consequence (resolution).
Resolution- Hero’s’ life has changed direction.
C7: Pressure (set up).
C8: Pinch (conflict).
C9: Push (resolution).

Act II
Set up – Hero explores new world.
C10: New world (set up).
C11: Fun & games (event/conflict).
C12: Old world contrast (resolution).
Conflict – Hero encounters crisis of new world.
C13: Build up (set up).
C14: Midpoint (conflict).
C15: Reversal (resolution).
Resolution – Hero dedicates to finding a solution.
C16: Reaction (set up).
C17: Action (conflict).
C18: Dedication (resolution).

Set up – Hero faces defeat, victory seems impossible.
C19: Trials (set up).
C20: Pinch (event/conflict).
C21: Darkest moment (resolution).
Conflict – Hero must find power and take action.
C22: Power within (set up).
C23: Action (conflict).
C24: Converge (resolution).
Resolution – Hero fights and wins, resolving quest.
C25: Battle (set up).
C26: Climax (conflict).
C27: Resolution (resolution).

This structure is so easy to set up using Scrivener. For me, it’s a great fit because it allows me to see where I’m going without making me feel too constricted. If you’re looking for a new outline method, check out those videos and try it for yourself.

How do you feel about outlining? What do you think of this 27 chapter method?

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Writer @brianawrites shares a simple and effective 27 chapter outline method (via @kat_tastic). (Click to tweet)

Think outlines are too complicated? @brianawrites and @kat_tastic might be able to help. (Click to tweet

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