Novel Plot Outline Templates

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What are plot outline templates?

Plot summary templates or story outlines are simple structures that can be used as the basic building blocks for plotting a novel.

They offer a list of story beats which are commonly found in a given genre.

For example, a romance story will always have a part where the two love interests meet. There will almost always be a part where they are at odds with each other, and a part where they realise the truth of their feelings for each other.

 

Why should authors use outlines or templates?

Authors can use these novel outlines to ensure their story follows a solid tried and tested structure.

Analysis of stories humans have enjoyed since the days of retelling them by word of mouth around the campfire has shown that there are a certain things when it comes to stories that really 'hit the spot' when it comes to getting us intrigued, gripped and satisfied.

Rather than hoping to learn these things by osmosis and hoping that they appear in your novel by chance, you can give your plot a better start in life, by including these major story beats from day one.

 

Wait, but isn't it cheating?

Some authors can have a negative reaction to the idea of using existing structures and ideas to underpin their writing.

Writing is a creative art, after all - so shouldn't every second of it be inspired by the divine muse?

The short answer is: no.

As well as being a creative art, writing is a skill and it is a craft. And becoming skilled at your craft means learning from other experts and finding out what works. It means learning best practice, useful techniques and the basics.

These structures can be found underlying the cast majority of the bestselling novels and blockbuster movies throughout history.

Using the right tools for the job is not cheating - it's smart.

 

Want to be able to easily fill in, edit and even drag and drop the sections of the plot outlines?

All of these plot structures are integrated into the Novel Factory novel writing software in the Planning section.

There you can select your template from a dropdown and simply fill in each of the stages. You can also add your own stages, delete ones that don't work in your story, sort them into Acts, and drag and drop them to shuffle them into the perfect order.

Get a free trial of the Novel Factory to see it in action.

 

Jump to Plot Outline Templates below:

Mystery Plot Outline

Romance Plot Outline

Short Story Plot Outline

Hero's Journey Plot Outline

Character Driven Plot Outline

Horror Plot Outline

Detective Noir Plot Outline

Universal Plot Outline

 

Mystery Plot Outline

Mystery Plot Outline

 

Romance Plot Outline

Romance Plot Outline

 

Short Story Plot Outline

Short Story Plot Outline

Heros' Journey Plot Outline

Hero's Journey Plot Outline

Character Driven Plot Outline

Character Driven Plot Outline

Horror Plot Outline

 Horror Plot Outline

Detective Noir Plot Outline

Detective Noir Plot Outline

Universal Plot Outline

Universal Plot Outline

 

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