Author Sloan Parker

Romance Writer's Toolkit: PLAN

There are a variety of methods writers use to create a novel. I find it inspiring and illuminating to read about how others craft their stories, but I also feel it's important for each author to embrace their own process. It's a beautiful thing when a writer finds their creative sweet-spot. A blend of pre-planning and writing-as-I-go to fill in the blanks and expand the initial outline is the process that lately has been working the best for me.

For those of you who also prefer a structured approach, here are a number of popular plotting methods for writers and other planning resources.

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The W Plot

I've used the "W Plot" method for several of my books, and I've found it works well to make sure I hit the right flow of highs and lows.

Methods Based on the Vorhaus Story Structure

Writing a Fast Draft

  • First Draft in 30 Days  
    Say goodbye to writing and rewriting with no results. Starting—and finishing—your novel has never been easier! By Karen Wiesner

  • Book In a Month  
    The Fool-Proof System for Writing a Novel in 30 Days by Victoria Lynn Schmidt

Miscellaneous Plotting Methods

Outlining & Storyboarding

Character Worksheets & Tips

  • Character Sketch Sheet & Questionnaire
    Outline your character's physical traits, background info, personality, and answer deeper questions to help you build stronger motivation and a more solid story.

Character Name Database and Trackers

  • Character Tracking Worksheet
    Use this worksheet to track the names for all your major and minor characters so you never repeat a name in the same series. Also track character details such as height, hair color, eye color, notes on personality, and more.

  • Character Name List & Tracking Worksheet
    Over 800 ideas for character first names. This list will be continually updated so check back again for the latest version.


Additional Resources


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