Writing a book is an incredibly rewarding experience, albeit a daunting one. New writers working on the first draft of their book need all the help they can get, and one promising route is to utilize a creative book writing template.
Luckily, there are tons of resources available on the internet that can help make the writing process much easier. However, when it comes to templates, it can be difficult (especially for first-time writers) to find the perfect one for their writing style.
Therefore, in this article, I’ll detail the 6 best book templates that you can use to outline your ideas, streamline your writing process, and focus on your story.
Let’s jump right in.
What is a Book Writing Template?
Simply put, a book writing template is a pre-built structure in which you can add words to create a literary work.
It’s essentially a format that has certain qualities that are suitable for specific genres of literature.
For example, a novel and a nonfiction essay are structured differently and have different stages of progression. Both these genres have templates that suit several types of each literary piece.
A nonfiction essay template will help structure the content to how an ideal nonfiction book should be, and keep it from looking and reading like a novel.
Currently, we have book writing templates for almost every literary genre, including fiction, nonfiction, reviews, scripts, poetry, etc. Each of these templates follow a different structure, however, the best templates have some characteristics in common.
Characteristics of the Best Book Writing Template
Regardless of genre, every book writing template has some details that set it apart from the rest.
However, the best writing templates have the following characteristics in common:
- Comprehensive structure
Let’s take a look at each characteristic individually.
If you study some of the best works of literature in history, you’ll find that they all cover the story completely and give you all the fine plot details at specific times as the story progresses.
Sure, sometimes the plot may have some holes, but the structure will always be detailed and include every aspect of the writing process.
This means that a great book writing template has sections for:
- Subject Research
- Setting sketches
- Character sketches
- Plot/chapter outline
Other than poetry, and some specialized genres such as short opinion reviews, every book writing template has some combination of these elements.
A rigid structure can make every book sound the same in terms of how the story progresses.
The same plot lines, the same buildup, and the same climax can become boring, especially for avid readers.
The best book writing templates have the same structure, but added room for customizability to suit unique writing styles.
For example, if I’m new to the world of growth marketing and picked up a book on it, I would like a chapter or two to be dedicated to an analogy that explains each concept in a relatable manner before moving on to the next part of the narrative.
Breaking up the flow of the book to provide an analogy would be considered adding to the narrative. A good template should allow authors to do that while still keeping the flow intact.
Many book writing templates are very detailed and contain a ton of nuanced elements that define the genre that they belong to.
However, a template should not be too complex. It should not have so many different structural elements that the author spends time and effort trying to understand the template instead of writing the story.
That’s literally the opposite of what a book writing template is for.
Furthermore, complex templates usually become too incoherent for people to read and end up losing readers at some point in the book.
The best templates should have a consistent flow and their sections should be in the order of appearance and importance.
It’s already difficult to write a book, and it’s the job of the template to make sure the complexity doesn’t transfer to the reader.
The 6 Best Examples of an Effective Book Writing Template
Both new and experienced writers often use templates to streamline the writing process and create an engaging narrative.
However, because of this, there are too many templates to choose from in every genre.
Additionally, it’s difficult for new writers to determine which templates will benefit their first book.
The following are templates that I’ve found to be the best in their respective categories. Most of these can be used with word and/or pdf processing software.
Furthermore, if you really want to keep your thought process organized and the writing process flowing, all of these templates are available in Squibler, a writing software made specifically for book writers.
1. The 30-Chapter Novel Template
The 30-Chapter Novel template is a perfect starting point for most first-time fiction writers.
The name of the templates comes from the ideal length of a novel in contemporary fiction, although it’s not a limiting rule and you can have a story longer or shorter than that.
The template is very helpful for writers with a developing story, as each chapter has an individual section that helps the story progress.
The sections contain prompts and pointers that help you develop each chapter and maintain the perfect novel pacing. Additionally, they make sure the story progresses according to contemporary novel story arc standards.
It essentially creates a structural roadmap for your novel.
The template works very well as a platform, too.
If you have already written enough content to compile into a book, you can simply copy and paste it into the template, and adjust each section into its appropriate place.
To start writing with the 30-Chapter Novel template, click here.
2. The Snowflake Template
The Snowflake template (also called the Snowflake Method) is a writing guide that helps you create very engaging and intriguing stories.
The template develops content that starts out easy to understand, and gradually increases in complexity. It’s a concept that was developed to help readers grasp the story at first and hold their attention as the plot thickens.
The Snowflake method works with both fiction and nonfiction works.
Because the structure remains the same for both genres, authors can write both without worrying about how to progress the narrative.
Furthermore, the template is great for writers who like to develop their story as they write. It lets you start with virtually a single sentence, and gradually think of and add plot details.
To learn how to write with the Snowflake template, click here.
3. The Crimson Writing Template
Crimson is a template that has a very traditional novel structure and favors a classical approach to writing.
This template is tailor-made for works of fiction, especially classic fiction. However, it can also work with contemporary fiction that wants to create a more intimate reading experience.
Crimson has an efficient and simple page layout that doesn’t break a long manuscript into too many sections. Instead, it optimizes manuscripts according to classic layouts.
Because of its structure, it works best for fiction that grips the reader and keeps their attention on the page, despite the length of the paragraphs. For this reason, the author has to put in some work adapting the manuscript to the template.
To buy the Crimson Template, click here.
4. The Three-Act Story Template
This template is basically a structure that most classical and modern works of fiction have used. It’s a basic story arc that has different plot elements for the three acts (beginning, middle, end).
The following are the plot elements for each act:
- Opening scene
- Inciting incident
- Call to action
- The Choice
- Rising action
- The disaster
- Turning point
- The resolve
This is a clearly defined writing template that’s great for anyone who wants to write a book, but has yet to start brainstorming.
If you’re looking to start writing fiction, this template can be an effective guide to structure your story on.
5. The Basic Fantasy Template
This template is for complete beginners who want to start writing fiction in the fantasy genre.
The fantasy template uses a mix of both classic and modern structural elements to create a story with an optimal pace, character arc, plot timing, and reader engagement.
Fantasy fiction is different from other genres such as romance and mystery. This is due to its more traditional buildup and story progression. The three-act story template is the most common baseline for fantasy, though there have been some exceptions recently.
The template asks questions and prompts the writer to develop thoughts on vital story elements as they continue writing. Additionally, each chapter is set up with guidelines for the writer to help them along.
To start writing on the Fantasy template, click here.
6. The World-Building Template
The world-building template is also centered on fantasy, however, it’s more of a story builder than a structure.
It uses what’s called the Leviathan Method, which is a series of ‘steps’ that define your fictional world.
There are a total of 52 steps, each with a question that’s related to the plot setting, character research, and various other elements that make the foundation of your story.
Using the Leviathan method, the world-building template asks certain world-specific questions that help you create a fictional world for your characters to inhabit. While you still have to come up with all the details yourself, the template asks the right questions at the right stage.
This reduces the time it would normally take for you to build your story world. Plus, it shows you which elements you need to come up with first to create the most cohesive version of your fictional world.
To download the Leviathan World-Building template for Scrivener, click here.
How to Choose the Right Book Writing Template
Writing styles have evolved a lot over the years. Today, there are more genres of literature than there were even 20 years ago.
More literature genres result in more writing templates.
This is good for writers who had a story in mind but didn’t know what type of audience to write a story for. On the other hand, it could be a problem for new writers who could have trouble choosing which template to use as a foundation for their story.
Here are some factors to consider when choosing a book outline template for your story.
The best writing templates are easy to understand and use as a structure.
They are very well-defined according to the writing genre and accommodate a number of writing styles within that genre.
These templates should also be compatible with multiple devices (Amazon Kindle, smartphone, laptop, etc.) and screen sizes.
Clearly Defined Theme
Most templates are already made according to categories of literature. However, some general templates can be too ambiguous for newer writers to follow.
An example of this are some fiction templates. Sci-Fi fiction is different from high-fantasy, which in turn, is different from true-to-life romance.
The best template should be designed according to a particular theme that stems from several genres of literature. Having such a template will optimize the content for readers of that genre.
Appropriate Tone and Voice
There’s a difference between the tone of the story and the voice in which it’s being told.
The best template should build upon a tone that serves the type of book it’s based on. It should also feature a voice that resonates with readers of that particular genre.
Such a template will ensure that the author’s tone stays consistent throughout the writing process and that they know how to voice the plot and characters.
While planning and note-taking are largely for the writer to manage, a little help with the process can make it a lot easier to come up with a great story.
The best templates help writers plan out their stories by having sections and prompts for vital aspects of the planning stage.
These templates map out the story precisely by making you take note of all the elements you’ll need further details on.
The Biggest Practical Benefits of a Book Writing Template
Most of the advantages of having a book writing template on your side stem from how they assist writers via a pre-built story structure.
However, there are some benefits that don’t seem too major until you actually start writing a new book.
To shed some light on how templates actually help writers, here are some of their practical benefits.
Streamlined Editing Process
A template will make it much easier to edit your written material, regardless of the word count and overall book size.
Since the content will already be written according to the ideal structure, it’ll enable the editor(s) to concentrate on the trope, holes in the story, main character inconsistencies, etc. instead of fixing the layout in a word document.
Publishers prefer certain genres of literature to be written according to a certain aesthetic.
Since most digital templates are regularly updated, they will already have the content written exactly how publishers prefer it.
In case you're self-publishing your own book, a template will help cut back on the time-to-publishing.
Your time-to-publishing can vary a lot depending on your book layout.
The structure and layout are actually more important than your typing speed when it comes to completion time.
Templates essentially give you a roadmap to add content to. This cuts down a lot on the total time to completion for a book, letting you meet any deadlines.
Contrary to the age-old adage, a lot of readers judge literature by the book cover!
From the book title and table of contents to the cover design and title page design, the aesthetics of a book matter a lot to readers.
Templates help develop a much better-looking book design, with visual elements that complement the genre.
Using a Book Writing Template in 2020
Creative writing is one of the most fun artistic ventures you can undertake.
As someone who has written on various topics, I understand the thrill that comes with completing a well thought out and written piece.
Using a book writing template and writing assistance software such as Squibler can make it much easier and faster for you to get that thrill.
Additionally, you'll have an amazing written piece of work to your credit.
Now, pick up your preferred writing medium, get your template ready, and start writing!