10 Ways to Structure Your Novel

There are endless ways to structure a novel; the only limit is your imagination! Below I’ve compiled a list of novel structures that I’ve run across recently. Although I tried to keep point of view separate, the two are often very intertwined. Click on the links for more details on the structure from previous book reviews! Please add your favorite/unique structures in the comments below!

Types of Novel Structures

  1. Linear, following a single character
    Perksofbeingwallflower1

    The entire book is written in letters!

    — Example: Still Alice, Harry Potter, most Stephen King books, and many, many more

  2. Linear, jumping between multiple characters
    — Example: The Story of Forgetting, also, Mary Higgins Clark novels
  3. Major flashbacks 
    — Example: The Year of Magical Thinking and In Caddis Woods
  4. Letters
    — Example: The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Gilead
  5. Journal entries 
    — Example: Gone Girl and The Prestige
  6. Interview characters 
    — Example: World War Z
  7. Organize by chunks of time 
    — Example: Rainy Lake, every chapter covers one summer
  8. Write individual stories that connect under one theme/character/story 
    — Example: Elegies of the Brokenhearted or A Big Little Life
  9. Major backstory leading up to current time 
    prestige

    The Prestige has a fun, twisted structure that works well with the story!

    — Example: The Kite Runner

  10. Include footnotes, poetry, or other unique sections 
    — Example: Sleight and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (book review coming soon!)

Comment below with more structure types you enjoy!

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About Sarah JS

Aspiring writer, lover of words, book nerd, working editor, and permanent student of the world

Posted on June 16, 2015, in A Writer's Life, Book Review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I’m writing a novel right now somewhere between #1 and #3. Sometimes it’s overwhelming the amount of choices you have haha

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