Organizing Your Novel For PLOTTERS!

How many of you use Microsoft Word or Google Docs?

I absolutely LOVE both of these programs.

I am a plotter, but even though I outline my novels, I still tend to have some sort of organization other than outlining.

If you are a PLOTTER, keep reading! If you are a PANTSER, feel free to keep reading, but NEXT WEEK, there will be a post specifically for you—outlining your novel for PANTSERS!

The method of plotting varies from writer to writer, but today, I'm going to show you the documents I've created to help me ORGANIZE my novels!

Ready? Let's go!


You don't need anything except for SEVEN Microsoft Word documents. I put these in a folder and title it with my novel's current title. (If your novel is untitled right now, just label it with "Untitled Novel Folder" or "Castle Novel Folder"—something that will remind you of which novel it is.)

OR if you're using Google Docs, go ahead and create SEVEN documents. Then you can use a Google Sheet to organize your documents! (Just use the "Share" link in the Google Doc and copy and paste that link into a cell in the Google Sheet. You can make headers and organize the Sheet any way you'd like to! It's super flexible!)

So how did I use SEVEN DOCUMENTS to organize my novel? Does that sound intense? Complicated?

Let's find out!


When working on my novel, I'll click on the Microsoft Word folder and highlight and select all of the documents in that folder. That way, they pop up quickly and easily. With Google Docs, I have to click on and open each document individually.

Here's what I generally use to title my documents:
  1. Character/Story Template
  3. Scene Cards
  4. [Novel Title Here] Novel
  5. Discards
  6. Documenting My Progress
  7. Images
I'll go through each of these documents briefly.


This is a template I created for my email list. Sign up HERE to get that for FREE!

Basically, this is a questionnaire about your characters, setting, and a page for your premise/book blurb/etc. It's a super helpful template that especially goes deeper into your characters' lives.


Yep, this is where the REAL plotting begins! This document contains the outline for your entire novel.

3. Scene Cards

I'm still learning how to use scene cards, but basically, they're there to make sure every single scene MATTERS to your story.

To find more awesome info about scene cards, I recommend you check out Abbie Emmons'* video about how to use scene cards. She can explain them much better than I can! She'll also give you the scene card template!

*I really enjoy Abbie's videos and tips, but please note that she does say God's name in vain occasionally, which I do not at all agree with or promote because it disrespects the name of our God. She has also used the h-word a few times.

4. [Novel Title Here] Novel

Need I say more? ;) This is the document where the real magic takes place! I actually WRITE my novel here!

Using my outline and scene cards, I write my novel scene by scene. I usually put them in chapters right away, but you can split your book into chapters later. Whatever works better for you!


Discards is one of the most important documents I have, and here’s why: If there’s a part in my novel that I love, but can’t use, I cut it from my novel and paste it into Discards. That way, I still have the piece of writing, but it’s not messing up my novel. (Trust me: you don’t want to make the mistake of deleting it! Guess who’s learned that the hard way? Yep... Learn from my mistakes!)


This is one of my favorite documents because I can see when I started my novel and when I reached 1,000 words, 5,000, 10,000, and so on. It’s keeping track of my progress. I like to mark the date when I reach another 5,000 words or another 50 pages. It's just something to celebrate! Of course, you can customize your document, but this is what I like to use.


This is the FUN document! Everyone loves to have images for their books, right?

You can add mock covers, character images, and MORE to this awesome document!

So there you have it! You're welcome to organize the documents in any way you choose!

For all you plotters out there, I hope you have found this helpful!

Next week, I'll publish a similar post—but for PANTSERS! (You won't want to miss it!)


what about you?
So what about you? Are you a plotter or a pantser? Have you tried both options? Which do you find the most helpful?


  1. Thanks - I'm an organizer, but my project folder still relies somewhat on a good memory of which file a certain piece of info is stored in, so I should probably fix that :P.

    P.S. I don't know how it compares to Word, but it's super easy to create folders within Google Drive too.

    1. Hey Mia! Haha, I understand that! XD

      Cool! I haven't done much with Google Drive myself, but as long as it works and keeps you organized, that's what we're going for! :D

  2. I'm totally gonna combine your tips for plotting and pantsing (typical plotser XD). Thank you!


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