Plotting Strategies: How to Craft an Engaging Storyline for Your Novel

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Writing is a hectic task that requires a lot of time and energy. And writing an entire novel that involves intensive planning and execution is like running a marathon.

It can seem daunting and draining. But with the right plotting strategies, tips, and tricks, you can plan and execute your novel efficiently.

So there are two ways to do that. Either learn the best plotting strategies and incorporate the latest techniques to craft your novel outline. Or, you can hire professional book writing services to get your work done with accuracy and efficiency.

1. Brainstorm Ideas & Choose the Best One

You should never write on the very first idea you get. The most effective way to churn out the maximum ideas is to jot down all the points, keywords, or ideas sparking up in your mind.

Write down everything on the paper, even if you feel they are not so good. You can make mind maps, bullet points, documents on the computer, post-it notes, sketches on a whiteboard, or any form you like.

The purpose is to make it documented. Then you can sort out what to keep and what to discard.

To brainstorm ideas, pull inspiration from real-life events, experiences, insights you have learned over time, or any philosophy you want to deliver.

A killer idea will not be a hit if not brainstormed efficiently. And, a standard idea can be a best-seller if you craft it in a nice way.

2. Craft Central Conflict

The central conflict is the main focus of the novel or story. Every story element and aspect will revolve around it.

In adventure, thrillers, and fantasy novels, writers pick a central conflict and weave their story around it. Every character, scene, and plot point either amplifies the conflict or solves it.

Following are some tips to enhance the conflict and create tension that will make your book a page-turner.

  • Give your character goals and aims to work for.
  • Create obstacles and opposing elements for your character and make conscious efforts to stop them from achieving their goal.
  • Give protagonists psychological, emotional, and traumatic scars that can motivate or depress them.
  • Make them fight evil and explore their potential
  • Throw more struggles toward them and make them grow

3. Design Unforgettable Characters

People rarely remember what your character wears in any scene, they remember his dialogue or stance.

So it is equally important to give your character strong motivation and desires to work for and make them layered.

It will make them more nuanced and multi-dimensional.

Some other tips for designing characters in a way that they leave a lasting impact on the readers are,

  • Give them distinctive physical features like height, physique, hairstyles, or any statement jewelry they wear. Put anything that makes them different from others.
  • Create meaningful relationships that depict the character’s depth and versatility.
  • Give them unique speech characters, dialogue delivery styles, and voices that are specifically attributed to them and represent their backgrounds.
  • Give them a unique perspective about life in general that determines their behaviors and the choices they make.

4. Choose a Suitable Story Structure

You can choose any story structure you want. The most effective practice is to learn about every story structure and then follow the one that suits your genre and writing style.

Or, much better, design your own unique story structure. It can become your signature style.

The most common story styles are:

  • 3 act structure
  • 5 act structure
  • Episodic structure
  • Nonlinear structure
  • Freytag’s Pyramid

Analyze basic story structures to design your own and outline your story according to them.

When you have polished your first outline as best as possible, move to the writing part.

5. Do Extensive Topic Research

All successful authors have one thing in common. They all have in-depth knowledge of the topic they are writing about. Even though they don’t tell everything to the reader, they should know the intricate details. It makes them look genuine when they know what they are writing.

It all starts with creating a research plan and pinpointing the goals you want to achieve.

Online research can be helpful, but to gain authentic data and knowledge, you may need to visit libraries to get books.

Or, you can gather some surveys or polls to know the public’s opinion on anything. To get firsthand knowledge, you can opt for expert interviews or podcasts.

The more sensitive and delicate topic you select, the more careful you have to be in your writing.

6. Build Layers or Subplots

It is the main factor to consider when writing big bulky novels. Just talking about the main plot will make the story feels redundant.

Tie subplots to the main one to enhance the drama and complexity of your novel. It will shoulder the main character’s base conflict, add more depth and give some relief time to the readers as well.

Make sure that every subplot is distinctive from the main plot. It should give more perspective and depth to the story. Plus, it has its own unique arcs as well.

Basically, subplots are the small stories within a giant novel. And it has to be treated like one.

7. Tie up Loose Ends

Giving a satisfying ending to the reader often feels like a slippery slope to many writers.

After writing your story, take a step back and relax for a few days. Then re-read the entire novel to identify any loose ends that are left.

Check if any significant character growth, subplots, arcs, conflicts, or anything is left to resolve. List them down and brainstorm how they should end.

Give proper closure to the readers regarding the characters, their relationships, their motivation, and what they have at the end of the book.

Final Words

You have to go through the nerve-wracking work of crafting a plot that can sell, whether you are a beginner or a professional novel writer. It is an intricate craft of outlining or structuring an impactful story.

If you want to get it written by experts, McZell book writing services have some incredible packages. From writing to publishing and marketing, you can get it all done from the comfort of your home.

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