Checklists and Examples for Writers

We take for granted that pilots methodically check each function of their planes before a flight. Writing a book readers will love is equally complex. The free checklists for writers are brief and to the point, designed to help you analyze and improve your work. The examples show how to apply the techniques to your writing.

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Check Out the Writing Examples

Story Body Example

Audiences recognize genres based on watching films and reading books, sensing when something is missing. See this Story Body example with structure guide and question prompts.

Improve Your Writing with Checklists

Just because you can never have enough valuable free resources, here are four of them and more are coming on stream soon. Once you sign up, you’ll have access to the download page.

Book Ideas Checklist

Writers often ask, “How do I find book ideas?” The answers are simple, but can get lost in the details of studying writing craft. Get encouragement and 11 surefire methods to discover book ideas.

Conflict and Tension Checklist

Opposing forces frustrate the protagonist’s efforts and increase awareness of what he or she must learn before accepting the need to change. Discover 60+ captivating ideas you can use to increase reader engagement.

Deep POV Checklist

Deep POV immerse readers in a single character’s senses, thoughts, speech, actions, and reactions. You can increase reader engagement with deep POV, but each writer must decide when to use it.

Writing Terms Checklist

Commercially viable novels share common traits that fulfill reader expectations, but there are many ways to write a story. Because the terms and definitions used by writers and teachers vary, focus on common principles of writing, not rules.

Get All the Checklists and Examples for Writers

Inspiration for Checklists

Years ago I read an excellent book by Dr. Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right (affiliate link). A MacArthur Fellow, a general and endocrine surgeon at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, a staff writer for The New Yorker, and an associate professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, Dr. Gawande also leads the World Health Organization’s Safe Surgery Saves Lives program.

Besides medicine, the author cited many examples where simple checklists not only save lives, but ensure service and product excellence. This excerpt* from the book’s introduction sums up why we writers need checklists:

“Avoidable failures are common and persistent, not to mention demoralizing and frustrating, across many fields—from medicine to finance, business to government. And the reason is increasingly evident: the volume and complexity of what we know has exceeded our individual ability to deliver its benefits correctly, safely, or reliably. Knowledge has both saved us and burdened us.”

*Gawande, Atul. The Checklist Manifesto (p. 14). Henry Holt and Co.. Kindle Edition.