Checklists for Writers

We take for granted that pilots methodically check each function of their planes before a flight. Writing a novel is equally complex. The free checklists for writers are brief and to the point, designed to help you analyze and improve your work.

Improve Your Writing with Checklists

Book Ideas Checklist
Book Ideas
Deep POV Checklist
Deep POV
Conflict & Tension
Writing Terms Checklist
Writing Terms

Get Checklists for Writers

What You’ll Get

  • The Book Ideas Checklist offers 11 methods to help you jumpstart your search for ideas worthy of turning into a novel.
  • You’ll find in the Conflict & Tension Checklist definitions of conflict, tension, and suspense, and it offers 60+ ideas to amp up your stories.
  • Discover 12+ actionable ideas in the Deep POV Checklist, including explanations of the technique and third-person limited point of view.
  • Use the Writing Terms Checklist to increase your knowledge of craft, and you’re encouraged to share it with other 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.