How to Plot a Novel – 8 Amazing Tips for Plotting a Novel

How to Plot a Novel

How can you write a powerful plot? – this is the question every writer has in their mind while writing a book.

A plot is a sequence of events that are told in relation to one another. It requires a lot of care and attention to craft a plot for your story that grips the attention of your audience. A great plot is a way to keep your audience engaged till the end and let them enjoy the twisted tale you have created. 

If you are wondering how to plot a novel, then continue reading below. 

How to Plot a Novel – 8 Amazing Tips for You

To create the finest plot of your novel, follow the tips below. 

1. Start Small, Think Big

If you are not familiar with how to plot a novel, then it can be overwhelming. Well, it is about setting the right chain reaction in motion. You can begin with a single event or decision that keeps the protagonist in motion. 

Related post: How to Plan A Novel

Then, let each action or revelation naturally cascade from the previous one to create a domino effect that drives your plot forward with increasing momentum. When you focus on the interconnectedness of the events, you will be able to avoid all the pitfalls of a disjointed narrative. 

For example,

In the Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling, the discovery of a single letter leads Harry down a rabbit hole of wizards, pushing him into the magic world. 

2. Begin with the End in Mind

Forget the conventional wisdom of starting at the beginning. Rather than this, you can envision the climax or resolution of your novel and work backward to lay the groundwork for the essential moment. You can be assured that every twist and turn will have a purpose by reverse engineering your plot and lead inevitably toward a satisfying conclusion. 

The approach will infuse your story with a sense of predictability and allow simple foreshadowing and thematic resonance throughout your story. 

For example,

In the book, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Amir’s journey for redemption begins with a haunting event on his part. 

3. The Unconventional Structures

Who says a novel must have to adhere to a linear timeline? It would be best if you broke free of the constraints of traditional storytelling by experimenting the non-linear or unconventional story structures. You can choose parallel timelines, and fragmented perspectives, or create stories within stores to defy the expectations and inject your plot with fresh energy. 

All you have to do here is to make sure that you maintain clarity and logic to guide readers through the maze of your story’s labyrinth.  You can also take professional ghostwriting services to help you in plotting a novel.

For example,

In Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, the story unfolds across multiple timeless genres from historical fiction to dystopian sci-fi. Mitchell creates a rich connection that defies the storytelling convention by connecting disparate storylines and genres. 

4. Shuffle the Deck

Plotting a novel is as much about the character dynamic as plot mechanics. You can shake things up by randomly assigning your characters new roles, motivations, and relationships. After this, you can observe how these changes ripple throughout your story. 

Unexpected alliances, conflicts, and revelations that emerge, will breathe new life into your stale plotlines and spark unforeseen plot twists – and surprise your readers. After all, variety is the main ingredient of storytelling. Ypi might be interested in the guide to how to create a conflict in a story.

For example,

In Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, the sudden disappearance of Amy Dunne sets off the chain of events that exposes the dark underbelly of her seemingly perfect marriage. As the layers of deception are peeled back, the characters reveal hidden depth and motivation. 

5. Use the Power of Patterns

Humans are wired to seek patterns and make connections, so why not use this innate tendency to enrich your plot? You can introduce a recurring motif, symbol, or theme that echoes throughout your novel in very subtle variations and create a sense of unity and quality. 

It can be anything such as a triad of characters, a series of symbolic objects, or a recurring narrative device – the rule of three will lend your plot a sense of rhythm and symmetry that align on both a conscious and subconscious level. 

For example,

In the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, the recurring motif of the Mockingjay symbolizes defiance, resilience, and the spirit of rebellion against oppression. The author connects the dystopian world with a sense of unity and defiance that aligns with the readers by maintaining the pattern of symbols throughout the book. 

6. Make the World Come Alive

In the fiction world., your setting is not just a backdrop – it is a living, breathing entity that shaped and is shaped by the characters and events it contains. You must treat your setting as the characters on its own and instill it with personality, history, and agency. 

You can create a bustling metropolis, a remote wilderness, or a fantastical world that is beyond reality. The vividness and authenticity of your setting will enrich the plot and provide texture, conflict, and opportunities for readers to discover. 

For example,

In The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien, the Middle-earth is not just a backdrop. It is a vibrant, living world with its own history, culture, and mythology. From the rolling hills of the Shrine to the foreboding peaks of Morder. The author detailed settings that serve as a character in their own right and shape the destiny of the inhabitants. 

7. The Butterfly Effect

Plotting is a very delicate balance between order and chaos, structure and impulsiveness, and more. You have to use the unpredictable nature of storytelling and allow room for serendipity, improvisation, and creative detours along the way. 

Sometimes, the most compelling plot twists and characters are organically formed from the chaos of the creative process. Which leads you down unexpected paths that ultimately enrich the story. You have to trust in the creative chaos and let your story unfold with a sense of wonder and possibility. Also read: Elements of a good story.

For example,

In Life of Pi by Yann Martel, the protagonist’s journey across the Pacific Ocean is tense with unexpected challenges and encounters, from a shipwreck to a surreal encounter with a Bengal tiger.  Pi learns valuable lessons about survival and faith as he navigates the chaotic waters of the open sea. 

8. Break the Rules with Purpose

Remember that rules are made to be broken. Don’t be afraid to subvert the genre convention, story tropes, or readers’ expectations. If it serves the greater purpose of your story. Like, upsetting traditional gender roles, defying genre conventions, or challenging moral absolute.

The art of subversion is a way to induce your plot with depth, complexity, and thematic tone that excels the limits of formulaic storytelling. 

For example,

In Beloved by Toni Morrison, the author subverts the traditional notion of linear narratives and historical accuracy to create a haunting, nonlinear exploration of trauma, memory, and the legacy of slavery. 


So, plotting a novel can be daunting, but is a way to make your readers go wild. If you have the right plot. The tips mentioned above about how to plot a novel are proven by expert authors who have been working in the industry for years and have successful careers. Now is your chance to follow their steps via these tips and become a successful author.  

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