Writing a novel becomes easier when you plan everything from your characters and plot to your publishing steps, especially if you’re going it alone.
Evernote has several free templates specifically designed to help creative writers lay out their stories and self-publishing journey. Some you can access straight from the website, but you need the right links for others.
The Best Evernote Templates for Creative Writers
Here are your obvious options when it comes to Evernote’s creative writing templates.
If you want a simple planner for writing and publishing your novel, Evernote has a template that lets you outline the book, set goals, and track your progress.
It’s a perfect addition to the handy widgets on your Evernote home dashboard, all of which can make you more efficient when organizing your work as an author.
As for the template itself, you can add the novel’s title, genre, word count, and important links, while also setting dates and deadlines for outlining the story, writing the first draft, getting beta reader feedback, and so on.
This Evernote form lets you establish the key parts of your novel, including its setting, situation, protagonist, antagonist, inciting event, and conflict.
The point is to be able to summarize all the elements above in two sentences. The template offers the relevant box at the bottom, as well as an example summary.
Sometimes you need to get your storyline on paper to visualize and make sense of it. Evernote can help with its plotting template for classic three-part narratives.
It gives you a structured outline of your book’s beginning, middle, and ending, each part featuring several key elements a good story should have. So, the template lets you plan the book, but also guides you on how to do it well.
Characters are essential to any plot, and the better you plan them, the easier you can insert and develop them in your book. This is where Evernote’s character profile template comes in handy.
It prompts you to think about obvious and obscure details about your character, such as their appearance, occupation, religion, greatest fear, and biggest secret. If you have character art, you can even add that to their profile.
Secret Evernote Templates for Creative Writers
Bookmark the following links as they don’t appear on Evernote’s website. You still don’t have to spend anything to use these tools for authors, a winning feature when it comes to comparing Evernote’s free and paid plan.
Another character-related template available on Evernote involves their backstory. Unlike the profile template, this form focuses on key moments in the character’s life.
You can include their name and role in the novel before setting and dating events they experienced, as well as their age at the time.
It’s just as useful to have a full list of your book’s characters, which Evernote has thought of, too.
This template has you establish your main characters, antagonists, and additional cast, including their names, ages, notes, and images.
The best novel writing plan includes a breakdown of its chapters. Evernote has an outline template just for that.
You can add a summary of your book at the top and then use the form’s simple checklist to lay out the events of each chapter. Even if your plot changes while writing, it’s handy to have a clear overview of minute details to refer to whenever you need.
8. Story Beats
You could also have a plan for your book’s important scenes without putting them into specific chapters yet.
Evernote’s story beats template, based on Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat screenwriting structure, breaks down key plot elements, like the theme stated, the inciting incident, the bad guys closing in, and the finale.
Next to each beat description, add your scene ideas in as much detail as you want. To come up with these, think about what events would best reflect your book’s goals. Free mind map tools are great for putting your thoughts in order.
If your narrative depends on a timeline, you may want to plan and track what happens when. Then, you’re less likely to make mistakes, for example, when linking up parallel plots.
A template is available on Evernote that lets you sort through events by date, day, and time. Besides organizing your book’s core plot, you could track the timelines of different characters or the story’s background events.
There are many ways to plan your fictional universe, so see which one helps you visualize it best. If mind maps or world-building apps on Android don’t cut it, try Evernote’s practical template.
It’s basically a questionnaire about your story’s overall setting, namely the place where events unravel, as well as its people and culture.
This is another template you can use for multiple parts of your story, adjusting it as necessary. If, say, the plot involves different countries, some of the form’s questions can help flesh out each culture.
Randy Ingermanson developed the Snowflake method for designing and writing a novel, which Evernote simplified further with a template taking you through each step.
You start with a short synopsis of your book and expand that with more and more detail, including different characters’ perspectives of the story and a list or spreadsheet of all the scenes.
Choose the right elements for your narrative, and you’ll end up with a meticulous plan that only needs you to put it into words. To build your skill and confidence, keep practicing and learning from the best platforms for online writing courses like MasterClass.
A final template on Evernote that might interest you contains a handy checklist of the steps to self-publishing your book—after you’ve finished writing it.
Completing the manuscript is the first item on the list to tick and date. From there, the template prompts you to write the blurb, get the book edited and designed, format it as an ebook, and more.
You could also use the date column to set deadlines for each task and either tick them when done or adjust your schedule as you work.
Templates for Creative Writers Can Make Your Life Easier
Skipping the planning stage of writing a book is not a good idea as it will affect the quality of your story. Fortunately, Evernote has many templates to choose from, depending on your plot and writing style.
What’s even better is that this isn’t the only resource for creative writers around. Keep exploring websites and apps for tools you can use on your computer and smartphone.