Need a free plotting template to help outline your novel? Want to write your book using Google docs? I’ve just created a detailed document you can copy to your own account and use to map out your book – click the link below to download now.
PS. My novel-plotting outline is a little different from others, and it works for all commercial fiction. It’s 4-acts, so it avoids the “soggy middle” by having clear markers for all the middle stuff. But it’s complex, so you’ll need to watch the tutorial walkthrough (below) to really understand how to develop each section of your novel for maximum impact.
(You’ll need to *copy* the document to your own google account)
Watch the video to see how it works…
Google Docs Writing Template for Fiction
This is a simple version of my 24 chapter novel outlining template; so if you really want to understand how all the chapters go together and what they mean, check out the detailed walkthrough and tutorials that go with it, they’re important to understand how to use the writing templates.
I’ve gotten a ton of great feedback and a lot of authors have found this novel writing templates to be better than any other – but it only works if you understand how the pieces fit together; and outlining is just one small part of actually writing and finishing your book.
I also made a video about how to format and publish a book in Google Docs; however I was stumbling around and didn’t get everything right. I was searching for an “indent” feature and didn’t find it until watching the video later. So I made a second video just on formatting, which I recommend you watch instead.
Looking for nonfiction book outline templates? (click here)
1-Page Novel Plotting Outline Template
Here’s the video walkthrough to the google template. There’s a ton of information here so get back to it whenever you have questions about what all these terms mean or how to pull them off for your own story in a unique way.
Best Novel writing software
Google docs is a good alternative to microsoft word, and it keeps everything updated so is a great place to write online and save your work (despite terror stories and experience losing whole chapters, I still use microsoft word because it’s what I’m most familiar with).
That said, there are some really great writing apps and software that help with things like motivation, accountability, and organization – for when things get really hard; and there are some newer AI writing tools that significantly help editing and revisions. I keep a list of the best stuff here so you can check it out when you need something a little more powerful to create your best work:
UPDATE: Plotting is a good start but it isn’t everything; you also need to create suspense and conflict in your book to keep readers turning pages. I’ve created a ton of advanced writing tips and resources for authors, sharing everything I know about writing books that sell (I’ve sold about 50,000 so far).
But I’m a bit disorganized so you may have to dig around the site to find everything that’s useful. Here are a few things to get started:
- 25 Self-Editing Tips for Indie Authors (and 8 amateur writing mistakes)
- The 6 signs of weak writing (how to tell if your book sucks)
- Rekindle your writing enthusiasm and stay motivated
- Best online courses for writers
- Best books about writing for authors
- ChaptGPT3 and AI for fiction writing
Instant novel outline generator!
My 24 chapter book outline is pretty great, but it can be tricky to dream up new incidents and plot events to challenge your characters. But you can feed my outline into an AI tool like GPT4, give it background on your world, characters and central conflict, and have it automatically generate a plot for you! It’s actually pretty good, and will give you a very strong structure for a satisfying novel, so you can focus on the writing.
If you want a fun, literary AI tool designed specifically for fiction writers, go play with GhostTheWriter – where you can hire the soul of a famous dead authors as a writing partner.
I’m a philosophy dropout with a PhD in Literature. I covet a cabin full of cats, where I can write fantasy novels to pay for my cake addiction. Sometimes I live in castles.