Book Writing Guide
Education, Hobbies, Professional

Writing a book is no small feat. While the idea may graze our mind from time to time, it’s very different thinking about the book in your head as opposed to actually writing it. The task of starting it—let alone completing it—can seem like a daunting task because of its size and complexity.

Whether it’s a fiction story, non-fiction book, children’s book, mystery novel, or anything in between, book writing requires structure and planning surrounding the book’s chapters, major events, locations, characters, and twists/turns.

A lot of people dream of writing a book. But not everyone has the discipline or the time to embark on the process. That’s where this template comes in.

If you’re looking to write a book, story, or novel, you’ve come to the right place. This Book Writing template allows you to craft the surrounding components and details of your book, all the while helping you jumpstart your story.

Books generally follow a bell-shaped curve in terms of buildups, action events, resolutions, and cliffhangers. We often also find these elements within each chapter so as to keep the reader engaged and interested in continuing to read. This template is designed so that any wordsmith can use it to create any sort of story, whether you’ve never written before or you’ve published five bestsellers.

Here are some of the template’s features and highlights, by table:

Chapters

Chapters are a great way to give readers a break, allowing the readers to regroup and more easily follow the storyline. Breaking a novel down into chapters is not only helpful for the readers but also for the author, allows them to gather their thoughts. This table organizes the different chapters that provide the book with the proper flow.

Fields

  • Name. The title of the chapter. While some authors may choose complex naming schemes, others will opt into a simple sequence for naming chapters—this will depend on your personal preference/style.
  • Characters. This is a linked field to the Characters table. It displays each and every single character involved in the respective chapter.
  • Location(s). Every book, regardless of type, has one or more associated locations where events take place. This is a linked field to the Locations table, which cross-references every location that’s involved in the respective chapter.
  • Buildup. Following the bell-shaped curve within each chapter, this long-form text field allows you to jot down bullet points, write down paragraphs, or other thoughts surrounding the chapter’s buildup.
  • Action Event(s). After the buildup, stories typically have significant action events—often referred to as climaxes—where major things occur. These can be twists and turns, and are the main points of action in a chapter or story as a whole. They are a result of the preceding buildup.
  • Resolution. After the action events, or climaxes, we typically find ourselves at some sort of resolution. It’s what brings the action event(s) to some sort of close or wind-down.
  • Cliffhanger. Cliffhangers are what keeps readers wanting to read more. They can be used both coupled with—and in lieu of—resolutions. Cliffhangers within chapters of a book are critical components of writing, so use them wisely!
  • Est. Completion. When writing a book, it’s important to set goals for deadlines. This date field does just that so you can stay on track and meet those deadlines you set for yourself as your write.
  • Word Count. The average length of a chapter is between 3000-4000 words. Needless to say, this figure depends on a variety of elements. Use this field as a general target guide for how many words should be in your chapter. As long as this figure doesn’t run into an extraordinary number, all should be good.
  • Last Modified. This non-editable field serves as a date and time reference for when content on each row (or chapter, in this case) is modified. It allows you to more easily track changes and see where you left off.
  • Edited by. This is a linked field to the Editors table, which denotes the specific editor (or editors) that were used for each chapter.

Views

  • All Chapters. Displays all chapters, sorted by the estimated date of completion in order of earliest to latest.

Characters

Characters are the driving force of the novel. Character development is key to writing a successful book. Readers appreciate characters they can identify with because it helps the readers stay engaged with the book. The characters drive the plot of the story, and readers experience the environment you create in the novel through the character’s interactions and interpretation of their environment.

Fields

  • Name. Every character needs a name. This can be as typical or unusual as you like, but every story needs a unique way to address each character.
  • Nickname. The character’s nickname, or alias.
  • Role. Story books usually have three main roles for characters: The protagonist, the antagonist, and one or more supporting characters. Use this selection field to designate each character’s role.
  • Inspired By. Character development is difficult, and takes lots of time/effort. Use this field to collect inspiration from previous historical characters that have/will influence your own.
  • Defining Characteristics. In keeping with character development, each character has (or should have) some defining characteristics that differentiate the character somehow. This field is where you can develop those characteristics.
  • Present In. This is a linked field to the Chapters table. It connects each character to the chapter(s) that they’re present in.

Views

  • All Characters. Displays all characters, sorted in alphabetical order by character name.

Locations

Each location in a book provides a new set of rules and a new environment for the characters to interact with. The location can have a large impact on the way the book is being developed, and often times locations are used to symbolize different messages. This table identifies the different locations within the book and their significance.

Fields

  • Name. The name of the location.
  • Landscape Inspiration. Similar to character inspiration, locations also often draw from inspiration. Use this field to collect images of this inspiration for your various landscapes and locations.
  • Present In. This is a linked field to the Chapters table. Designate each location to its respective chapter.
  • Notes. A general-purpose field for jotting down notes about the location.

Views

  • All Locations. Displays all locations, sorted in alphabetical order by name.

Editors

When writing a novel, it’s common to overlook out own syntax errors or mistakes. Having an editor typically improves the quality of the book itself by updating any necessary language, clarifying any confusions, and making sure the book has proper grammar. This table organizes the different editors the author can use.

Fields

  • Name. The name of the editor.
  • Picture. A picture of the editor.
  • Level of expertise. The qualitative amount of experience the editor has in the field. Have they been around a long time?
  • Phone number. The phone number of the editor.
  • Email. The email of the editor.
  • Last contacted. The date in year/month/day format that the editor was last contacted.
  • Assigned chapters. This field links to the Chapters table, indicating which chapters were assigned to the particular editor to look over.
  • Notes. Additional notes about the work of the editor.

Views

  • All editors. Displays all the editors sorted in alphabetical order.