Advice on Using Plot Grids!

Hello everyone, a mum to two young girls and English graduate (aeons ago!). I can’t yet call myself a writer, because I haven’t written anything! But I am wondering/ hoping now is the time to bite-the-bullet and ‘just do it!’. I want to start with a fairly straightforward romance, but my brain is so busy that I am struggling to come-up with headings on my plot-grid. Any advice? I have ‘romance beats’ in the first column, but am unsure what to label the others. Location? Character development? I’d be so grateful for some direction,
Amy :slight_smile:


Hi Amy,
I’m sure everyone has their own ideas about how to use the plot grid, but the way that I use mine is to have one column for overarching story plot points and then I use other columns for events that relate to specific characters and their personal roles in the story.
This is a small sample of how I have an old half-finished fanfiction plot set up in google sheets:

I’m sure other people have other ideas, but that’s how I tend to set up my plot grids!


Thank you for your advice, and example (your story is very exciting!). So would you have notes under each character’s events? I’m struggling to workout how to fill each ‘card’ (ie do I use each character’s points to go into greater depth about their ‘wounds’ or do I have another section for this altogether?).

I read a lot of books on writing months ago, and need to refresh my memory. Any craft-book suggestions to give me inspiration would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks again :slight_smile:


Hi Amy! Like @Water said, everyone kind of approaches the grid differently. For my main project, I actually have two grids going. One is constantly changing as I add new scenes/chapter breaks, the other is what is called my ‘set pieces’. And the other is actual chapter snippets. Here’s a shot of my two main ones.


Hey @Amy_Lilley,

There’s very extensive post on this one here:

@Chris has a really great way of using the plot grid.

When I do my plot grid, I have the book scenes linked and then have separate plotlines for the setting, editing notes, what’s happening elsewhere in my world and for sub-plots. he scene cards are where the storyline plot points go. It ends up looking a little like this:


Awwww, thanks Tori!

There are many great suggestions in this thread already and in the end, I believe, you have to find your own way of doing this. It should feel comfortable, accessible and it should not be a construction that you can’t work with in the end!


Exactly! A plot grid that meticulously follows someone else’s style means nothing if it doesn’t work for you.