If you’re writing an epic fantasy novel, to publish one day or to upload on a story-sharing site like Wattpad, you’ll probably start with a million great ideas, write the first chapter in a burst of creative energy… and then get stuck.

Without a structure or a plot, it’s easy to get lost and not know how to get your hero from the beginning to your epic climactic ending. You know, that happy ending that you’re already imagining for your new characters.

Luckily for you, I’ve created a free template that you can use to easily plot out your fantasy story. It’s designed for fantasy writers in mind, but you can adapt it as you want.

What is a story plot?

A story “plot” is all of the events that happen in a story. Every event relates to each other in a sequence. How you relate your events of the novel depends on how you plan to structure your novel, but the important thing is that events happen because of the previous events. That’s what makes it a story, and not just a random sequence of events.

Do you need a plot for a fantasy novel?

When you come up with your fantasy ideas, you might not be as concerned about plot. You might have characters and magic systems and dragons and witches bubbling in your brain that are itching to get out onto the page, and you just want to write! But if you don’t have an idea of where you’re going, you’ll probably get stuck. Plus, if you’re publishing your story on a site like Wattpad, your readers will get bored if they think the story isn’t going anywhere!

How to plot a fantasy story

There are so many different ways to outline your story, and many different types of story structure that you can use. Much smarter people than me have developed ways to plot out a novel, including the Three Act Structure, the Snowflake method, Freitag’s pyramid, Dan Harmon’s Story Circle, the Fichtean curve.

When I’m starting a new story, I use a combination of these plot structures to create a spreadsheet of my plot, with chapter outlines for each character. I’ve made this into a template that you can use to plot your own fantasy novel.

How to use the story outline template

You need to have an idea of what the story is that you’re telling, and where you want it to go. Then you can fill out the rest with interesting characters, plot twists, and exciting events. Firstly, click on this link to download the template, and then open it. You can open it either in Google Docs or you can download it to save a copy as an Excel spreadsheet.

Note: In Google Docs you’ll need to save a copy to your Google Drive so that you can edit it.

Next, you can see how I’ve started filling out the plot for my story, Starrlings. Use this as a guide to see how you can start plotting.

Along the left, in the first two columns, I’ve put the chapter number and what should happen in the chapter. You can stick strictly to this formula, or you can change it to suit your story. I’ve started with 25 chapters, but of course you can have many more chapters than that!

I hope this template is really useful for you. If you have any questions about it, you can ask in the comments section below, and I’ll answer them!