Figuring Out How to Structure Your Novel

A good novel needs a good structureThousands of people have always dreamed of writing their own novels, but few ever find the motivation to start and complete one. Many people like to claim that they do not have time to write, as they are too busy working or dealing with family affairs. However, with a little bit of planning you should be able to figure out your novel structure and set off on your way to literary success.

The Beginning, Middle, and The End

It goes without saying that every story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. If you have the spark of a novel structure idea in your head, find yourself a pen and a large piece of paper. Create a brainstorm which lists everything that you want to be included in your novel. You should have a rough idea of how the story will play out, which characters you want to involve, and how the story will end. Once you have written down all your ideas you will need to start structuring them one scene at a time. Drawing a storyboard for your chapters is a very effective method of creating a novel structure as it helps you to spot any holes in the time line of the manuscript. Don’t be afraid to chop and change characters – writing a novel involves rewrite after rewrite!


The Setting

All novels need to have a central setting and theme running throughout them. What time is the novel set in? Does the story revolve around a certain town or country, or is it a sci-fi novel based in outer space? You need to answer these types of questions in order to structure your novel correctly. Work out the message that you want to leave your readers with at the end of the book. If you intend your novel to fit into a certain type of genre, read as many other books in that genre as you can. This will give you a good idea of any structure conventions in the types of novel that you want to write.


Picture: severija kirilovaite – Fotolia

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