chapter breakdown

gracePreviously, in this category, I blogged about setting up my synopsis, or outline, and how it provides the basic “skeleton” for the story.  Once I’ve completed that, it’s time to break the synopsis into pieces (bones, if you will) so that it is easier to flesh out and make whole.

I’ve found the easiest way to do this is the work from a printed copy of the synopsis.  Using a red pen, I’ll break it into pieces by bracketing sections of the text, then chronologically numbering the pieces.  Once done, I cut and paste each bracketed section from my synopsis into the word processing program I use for writing.  (More on that in a future post.)

Plunking these pieces into the template, tabbed into chapter divisions, is still not a cut and dry “this is how many chapters the book will have” certainty.  I see each book as a living, breathing, evolving entity, which can (and likely will) surprise me with personality quirks and plot developments entirely unexpected.  It does, however, manage to keep me on track.  Without this guideline, I’d likely become hopelessly lost in the story, allowing the characters and events to take control.


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