Plotting a book doesn’t happen by accident, it must be designed. Just as a baker needs a recipe, a seamstress needs a pattern, and a builder needs a blueprint, a writer does best with a plot.
Structuring your manuscript doesn’t have to be hard. A plot is simply like a road map. It doesn’t mean you won’t take detours or hit potholes along the way. It doesn’t even mean you’ll stay on the right road — but it will guide you. It provides the parameters and guides along the way to help you reach your destination.
There are many different ways people have plotted their books -and I’m probably the worst for putting all my notes, outlines, character sketches, and everything else in one notebook. I have found, however, that using a simple template or spreadsheet certainly helps in keeping timelines straight and remembering who has blue eyes and who has red hair.
Here are a couple of free sheets to help you get your manuscript plotted.