For when you want to write a book to say, you’ve done it. Finally done it. Written that book. This template is not in-depth as novels go, but it has all the basic foundations you will need to write a 20 chapter action-adventure.

If you was to write one of these every day you will have a full novel in front of you in 22 days time! I know, never that easy, but keep in mind for nano-wrimo month.

If you enjoy it, please comment below. Get your book reviewed with us, check out our Facebook group for more helpful tips, prompts and competition..

Robert Braithwaite Martineau - Kit's Writing Lesson

The Template:

How it works: Each section is outlined by a header. Underneath the header, you will find the bullet points telling you what you may want to include. This template is created from the point of view of an all-knowing narrator. Aim for 3000 words per chapter. 3000 words x 20 chapters = 60,000. Including prologue and epilogue, you will have 62,000 words.

Prologue (Optional) 1000-3000 words.

The prologue can be used as many different reader hooks.

Vintage Russian Typewriter
  • Insight into the mind of the antagonist.
  • An event of huge significance.
  • An event of minor significance that can have a bearing on the story.
  • An event from inside the story itself (a sneak preview if you like).
  • An action by a main or side character.
  • An action by a character you do not meet until later in the story.

Chapter 1: 3000 words.

  • Introduce the main character, also your side-kick.
  • Make an action, small action, to draw in the reader and show personality.
  • Avoid describing every inch of your players.
  • Introduce a problem.

Chapter 2: 3000 words.

  • Expand on the problem, show why it is a problem.
  • Why does this problem have a big bearing on your character.
  • Explore the world the character will be based in.
spirits terminal

Chapter 3: 3000 words.

  • Switch to your antagonist.
  • Start to show why your antagonist is doing what he/she is doing.
  • if this plan is going to directly affect your heroes explain how.
  • Is your antagonist aware of your heroes existence yet.

Chapter 4: 3000 words.

  • Escalate things.
  • Start to show your heroes struggling with the situation.
  • have a main mini problem that they succeed over.
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Chapter 5: 3000 words.

  • Antagonists response to part of plan getting stopped by your heroes.
  • Antagonist now see’s it as personal.
  • A plot begins against them.
  • Introduce evil minions tasked with doing something about them.

Chapter 6: 3000 words.

  • Heroes both worried and euphoric over what happened.
  • Life goes on, euphoria wears off, world becomes more tense.
  • Heroes recieve word in one form or another of antagonist displeasure.

Chapter 7: 3000 words.

  • A direct attack against our heroes.
  • Make this main event bigger then the first but not as grand as the climax.
  • Have your heroes battle and meet many problems.

Chapter 8: 3000 words.

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  • Things aren’t going well for your heroes. Get them out of there!
  • Make an epic chase. Add chaos and crazy and moments of hiding with moments of panic.
  • Be sure your bad guy has the upper foot here.
  • End with an escape and an injury. Either hero or sidekick, family or friend.

Chapter 9: 3000 words.

  • One of your heroes is injured.
  • Get from whatever temporary place you lost the chase with to your base, home or a hideout that you think of in the moment (a hotel?)
  • Discuss the situation. bad guy still out there. What you going to do?

Chapter 10: 3000 words.

  • Antagonist point of view.
  • Plans to continue.
  • Shame they got away? Destroy them? let them lick their wounds? kick them when they are down?
  • Background on your antagonist. Esential to making a believable bad guy. Is he/ she stealing money to recue a loved one trapped in another country? Do they have a dying parent in the back room ho’s last wish was to see them do this? make it believable. your reader should be able to connect with the reasons behind your bad guys actions.

Chapter 11: 3000 words.

  • The heroes know trouble is coming. One member needs medical attention.
  • Can you get to a hospital, do you know a doctor, do you just need medical supplies.
  • Either way, split your heroes up, concentrate on the one trying to get help.
  • Feeling of unease, build, maybe feel like being followed.
  • A chapter of tenseness with nothing happening.

Chapter 12: 3000 words.

  • Go to your injured hero, or hero with injured friend, or sidekick, whoever it is.
  • They are going to get kidnapped.
  • Bad guy that chased them down has found them.
  • Taking them away you need to help them try escape the situation while wounded, Do they? are they going to need a rescue.
  • Kidnapped for leverage so antagonist can get both out of the way.
Mort Kunstler, Kidnap King of the Berlin Wall, For Men Only

Chapter 13: 3000 words.

  • Hero gets back to find friend gone. bad news.
  • Has a note been left? a phone? a recording of the friend in danger?
  • Hero or sidekicks reaction.
  • Resolution to move forward? or panic?
  • Guilt. shouldn’t have left them alone.
  • How did we get into this mess moment.

Chapter 14: 3000 words.

  • Antagonist and kidnapped hero.
  • Debates, arguments.
  • How bad is your hero/sidekick/family hurt. How many got caught. Do the bad guys give medical assistance or can they hang on, do they hide how badl wounded they are.
  • Thrown in a cell. is this a room? a basement? a cage?
The little metal key on a long cord, ancient handmade wood closet, painted blue, wood handles, basement of a chang (or chaang) brewery house, manufacturer of the nectar of gods, ཆང་, private tongba bar, Thoo-n house, Boudha, Kathmandu, Nepal

Chapter 15: 3000 words.

  • Start working towards a climax.
  • Kidnapped one tries to find way out.
  • Hero scouting out the place where they are supposed to give themselves up.
  • will one’s escape plans interfere with the others rescue plans?

Chapter 16: 3000 words.

  • Antagonist can’t wait any longer for his grand plan.
  • Bad guy who kidnapped stays at base, antagonist leaves.
  • Learn just what bad guy going to do and how many could get hurt.

Chapter 17: 3000 words.

  • The kidnapped one gets caught trying to escape
  • The hero breaks in during this.
  • This will be the end of the kidnapper one way or the other.
  • Battle in the base.
  • Heroes reunited.
  • Plans for big evil plan revealed.

Chapter 18: 3000 words.

  • A discussion chapter ready for the climax.
  • You need a plan.
  • Your heroes need to agree on what you’ll do.
  • Do you need weapons? transport? back up?
  • Do you think you’ll get out alive?
  • Can wounded hero make it?

Chapter 19: 3000 words.

Highest Point on Blue Ridge Parkway
  • This is your climax. The highest point in your story. the bit the book has been working towards. No pressure.
  • It needs to be big, exciting. Your heroes need to go to a moment when everything is lost and they cannot win.
  • Miss a beat.
  • Then another beat.
  • Then save the day.

Chapter 20: 3000 words.

  • Wind down.
  • Close the story.
  • Is your antagonist alive? any last words?
  • Wrap up any loose ends you may have.

Epilogue (Optional) 1000 words.

  • This section can be used to wrap up more lose ends.
  • You can show a glimpse into the next book
  • Set up for next book (maybe that bad guy who kidnapped is still out for blood)


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