I’m currently using Monday.com to write a novel.
Actually, that’s not entirely true – I’m using Monday.com to structure my novel. I use Novlr.org to actually write my novel. Three novels in fact. And I’ve used Monday to structure all of them.
Writing a novel is no easy task. It is a well-known fact that good novels can take years to complete and if you’re starting out in the world of writing, you’re going to need an idea of how to complete that task.
Today, I’m going to show you how you can effectively and easily structure your novel using Monday.com.
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Where to start
I don’t know how you write your novel but I’ve found that there are two main ways to get the job done.
- Your story develops as you write.
- You plan your entire story from start to finish before you even write a word.
I’m in the second group. And what’s more, I write the ending first.
Wait? What? You write the ending first? Why?
For me, the ending of the story should be the whole point of the story. The reason why the entire novel exists. How good is a book when its ending is totally memorable?
Logistically, it also makes things a lot easier to start at the end because from the very start, you can channel each and every storyline to the ending.
After deciding on how I want my story to end, I then work backwards with my plot and storylines. If you look at the diagram I’ve so expertly created, you’ll see that all storylines should lead to the single conclusion point.
It’s a lot easier to turn the triangle on its head and work from one single point and reverse engineer everything.
Now that doesn’t sound too ‘creative’ but your plot and its storylines are the structure that holds everything together. You can write the most beautiful prose the world has ever seen but unless your story has a solid structure, it won’t hold up very well.
How I use Monday.com to structure my novel
Monday.com is traditionally a project management application and since your novel is a project, it needs proper management.
And because I work backwards in my process, I need a tool that allows me to move chapters and chunks of work around with ease.
That’s where Monday.com steps in.
The great thing about Monday.com is its flexibility.
And when it comes to planning my novel, I have found that there’s nothing better.
The main feature that I find useful is Monday’s columns, which traditionally work like this:
You’ll see that on the left are what’s called Item Groups, in this case Q1 and Q2. Underneath those are the sub-groups, or tasks that need to be completed.
What I do is use these Item Groups as my Chapters. The tasks underneath them form my scenes. Here’s a screenshot of the opening chapters of my novel.
As you can see, my Item Groups are now my Chapters. Underneath these are my scenes. You’ll also see that I can see the status of each scene at a glance. In this case, I’ve laid down some basic details in Novlr so I’m technically ‘Working On It’.
The great thing about Monday.com is that if you need to move scenes around just by dragging and dropping. I can see my entire chapter in one go.
If you look at the columns, you can add further detail to each task, or in my case, each scene.
One of the columns shown here is Person, where you can add other people. This comes in handy if you are co-authoring a book or hiring someone to proof-read or edit. They’ll be able to see the status of the chapter in real-time.
There are other columns too, such as numbers, which could be used to keep a tally of word counts and there is also the ability to attach files and integrate other apps that you might be working with. You can also add tags to a column if you want to keep tabs on your characters or themes.
Monday is something I use on a daily basis for my work (I’ve got a fuller review here) but I’ve found that its flexibility and ease of use really helps me structure my novel better.
As mentioned earlier, I then use Novlr to flesh everything out and do all the exciting bits of actually writing my novel.
You can give Monday.com a free trial run without having to upgrade at the end of it. Follow this link or click on the image below.