Heart Breathings

How To Plot Your Novel, Part One: Series Overview

August 2, 2018 by Sarra Cannon

Writing Tips

Learning how to plot a novel is one of the toughest parts of being a writer. I swear that after more than twenty-five full-length novels, I still feel like there is so much more to learn!

And while it’s true that some people (known as “pantsers”) don’t plot their novels at all, for many of us, we need an outline and an idea of where we are going before we can start writing.

How To Plot Your Novel Video Series

If you are like me and you need to have an idea of the outline and plot of your novel before you start writing, then you are in for a treat! Over the next few weeks, I am going to be sharing with you an 8-part video series on How To Plot Your Novel. Here is what we will cover:

  1. Overview of Story Structure and Why I Plot
  2. Writing Great Characters
  3. Elements of Act One
  4. The First Half of Act Two
  5. The Second Half of Act Two
  6. Elements of Act Three
  7. Bringing It All Together
  8. What Happens If You Get Stuck?

Video One: Overview Of Story Structure and Why I Plot

In today’s video, I discuss the reasons why I am a plotter and the overall structure of a story. Watch it here:


Download Your Free Plot Your Novel Workbook

In an effort to make this plotting video series even more awesome, I have put together a Plot Your Novel workbook that will guide you through every step of the outlining process. And what’s even better is that it’s completely free!!

*Note: If you are already signed up for my newsletter list, check your email! I sent you a direct link to download this free workbook in today’s mail.

Writing Great Characters

On Sunday, I’ll be sharing Video #2 in this Plot Your Novel series, where I’ll discuss how to write great characters. For me, this is the first major step before I even think about anything else. Knowing my characters helps direct the entire plot of the novel, even if I’m writing a more plot-driven story.

I’ll show you what I mean on Sunday! You can come back here to find the rest of the video series, or you can subscribe to my Heart Breathings channel over on YouTube! If you click on the notification bell, you’ll receive a message the moment a new video goes up from me!

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel now!

How To Plot Your Novel

Sarra Cannon


  1. shenoacb says:

    Thanks for this series! Learning how to reliably outline is one of my goals this quarter.

    1. Sarra Cannon says:

      That’s great! I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any questions along the way!

  2. Amy Sevan says:

    Thanks for doing this, Sarra. It was great to meet you at RWA and I enjoyed your talk there, so I’m really looking forward to this plotting series. I’m a pantser looking to save lots of time and energy by introducing some planning tools.

    1. Sarra Cannon says:

      Awesome! It was wonderful to meet you, and I am so excited you are here on the blog! Let me know how these planning tools work for you, and feel free to customize them in any way to work for your process!

  3. Karen Hooper says:

    Thanks for this fun series! I’ve been a Pantser for all of my books. I’m ready to become a plotter so I don’t spend so much time writing scenes that never make it into the final book.

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Sarra Cannon

Hi, I'm Sarra!

I have been self-publishing my books since 2010, and in that time, I've sold well over half a million copies of my books. I'm not a superstar or a huge bestseller, but I have built an amazing career that brings me great joy. Here at Heart Breathings, I hope to help you find that same level of success. Let's do this.


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