Writing group

A Year of Writing Tips #9

I like to think of novels as TV shows. In that each chapter of a novel is essentially an ‘episode.’

And since I watch more TV than I read books (which I shouldn’t admit as a writer, whoopsy,) I tend to outline and plan like a TV show. Especially when it comes to foreshadowing and cliff hangers and character development.

A chapter needs to have it’s own narrative within the entirety of your novel. That is, a beginning, a middle and an end. The way I do this is by ‘chapter planning,’ once my overall outline is completed.


Never more than 700 words (if I get really into it,) I write down the progression of the chapter’s events before I start writing it, much like an outline. This way I have those notes in front of me as I type. It helps me keep track of where I am going, what points I have to hit, and where the chapter needs to end.

It’s especially useful for the writers who like to go off on a tangent and end up with a chapter that is 8000 words long, and includes three extra sub plots. And I’ve been there.


Good thoughts and happy writing.



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