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  • Writer's pictureKarina M. Sokulski

Download Update: Three Act Structure Outline Summary

There's nothing like NaNoWriMo to inspire one to improve their writing tools. Not long ago, I came up with a spreadsheet dedicated to filling in my story’s three act structure. I’d been so satisfied with the result (despite my limited Excel skills) that I shared it on my website. I put this spreadsheet to good use and occupied the sections with the entirety of my novel. As triumphant as it felt to have completed my story’s roadmap, I realized the insurmountable number of words contained in each cell. I would have to skim over during writing.

My ADHD brain cringed with excitement at the sight of boxes filled with words. Was I going to be able to balance writing and skimming the cells of this spreadsheet without distraction? With enough effort sure, but I’ve evolved into the habit of making things as easy as possible for the sake of productivity. Therefore, I’ve included an “Outline Summary” section for shorthand access to the rest of my outline. Since I’m one guilty of clumsy outlining, I’ve also added a questionnaire curated from my favorite creative writing classes that examined the three-act structure.

The idea here is to fill in the outline completely with your story’s roadmap. Once you’re finished, you’ll come to the outline summary and use what you’ve written to answer the questions. Since this is a shorthand outline summary, a rule is entered at the top of the screen that the answer must be three sentences or less. If you’re having trouble summarizing any point in your story or can’t offer a short answer, chances are the story point requires more attention. My next step in preparing for NaNoWriMo will be to generate a shorthand version of my outline. If you’re in the market for outlining tools for your writing, you can find the updated workbook in the link below. You can also find this workbook, and other fun downloads, on my downloads page.

Three Act Structure Spreadsheet
Download XLSX • 15KB

November’s almost here but every NaNoer knows October is NaNoWriMo prep month. If you’re looking for NaNoWriMo related resources, the link to their prep page can be found right here: {X}.

Good luck NaNoers!

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