Heart Breathings

How To Plot Your Novel, Part Two: Writing Great Characters

August 5, 2018 by Sarra Cannon

Writing Tips

We are back today with Part 2 of my 8-Part Video series on How To Plot Your Novel. Today’s focus is on writing great characters.

Whether you are writing a character-driven or a plot-driven story, you still need great characters with depth and emotional impact. You also need to understand who your characters are, why they react in certain ways, and how they will grow throughout the story.

Video Two: Writing Great Characters

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 last week’s email. If you can’t find it, please email me and I’ll get it to you!

Act One

Our next video in the Plot Your Novel series will be a closer look at Act One story structure. I can’t wait to dive deeper into the story setup, stakes, the hook of your story, and more!

Make sure you are subscribed to my newsletter and my YouTube channel to get notifications when new posts and videos in this series go up!


Do you have any questions about these character sheets? Let me know in the comments!


How To Write Great Characters

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?

Sarra Cannon


  1. tara says:

    Is anyone else having problems subscribing to download the workbook? I keep getting an error and being routed to the website of the form vendor.

  2. This is amazing! I’m so excited to start my 2nd book and this is exactly what I needed! =)

    Thank you!! =)

  3. Debbie says:

    I would love to receive a copy of how to plot a novel but for some reason it won’t accept my email. Is there anyway that you could email me a copy ?

    Thank you, Debbie

  4. Debbie says:

    Is there a fee to subscribe?

    1. Sarra Cannon says:

      I’m sorry, Debbie, I didn’t see this earlier! There’s no fee to subscribe!

  5. I am having trouble downloading ‘PLOT YOUR NOVEL’ content. I have subscribed and received the link and download ‘Everything You Need Before You Self-Publish’, thanks in advance.

  6. Is there a link to video 8, What Happens If You Get Stuck?”

  7. Debra Young says:

    Hi, Sarra! I recently watched the Plot Your Novel videos. I’m already a YouTube and newsletter subscriber, and I’ve taken the terrific HB90 Boot Camp—is the Plot Your Novel workbook still available? The download link isn’t working. Thank you so much!

    1. Sarra Cannon says:

      Hey Debra! You can only get the workbook through the form if you are a new subscriber. I’ll email it to you separately since you’re already on the list!

      1. Debra Young says:

        Ok! Thank you, d:)

  8. Amy Sheehan says:

    I’ve subscribed to the newsletter can you send me a download like to the workbook?

  9. Vicky says:

    Hello! I have tried a few times to subscribe but I am not receiving anything (and yep, I’ve checked spam). Any suggestions? Thanks! :+)

    1. Sarra Cannon says:

      Hi Vicky! Oh no! I’m sorry the links aren’t coming through. When I go into Convertkit, it says all three emails were delivered, so I’m not sure why you aren’t seeing it. Did you check spam for my email address sarra@ Sometimes searching by email can help. If you still don’t see it anywhere, the only solution I can think of would be to whitelist my email as an approved sender and try again. You should be able to google ‘How to whitelist emails in hotmail” and find some instructions. I hope you are able to find the email. If not, reach out and let me know and we’ll see what else we can do!

  10. Bell says:

    hi could you email me the workbook too. and thanks for these free video. love them. do you also offer paid courses?

    1. Sarra Cannon says:

      Hi Bell! Did you get your email with the link to the workbooks? If you don’t see it, just email me at sarra@ and I’ll send it to you.

      I have two paid courses. HB90 Bootcamp is a 90 day planning and productivity bootcamp that I offer 4 times a year. The other is the Publish And Thrive course coming up, which is for people looking to learn how to self publish. You can find out more at heartbreathings.teachable.com Thank you!

  11. Robin says:

    Where is the handout that explains the parts of the three act structure like what is the stakes? key events? mirror moment. I know that there was a sheet that explained all these but now I cannot find it. Thank you!!!

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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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