3 Reasons Why You Should Try Using Writing Templates

From TheBookbag
Jump to navigationJump to search

It's no secret that writing a book can be a daunting task, and if you're unsure where to even begin, using writing templates can be a great springboard for your writing journey! Templates create the initial blueprint and necessary research for a book by prompting you with questions about structure, characters, and setting while letting your creativity fill in the blanks. Whether you're a writing template pro or just starting out, here's 3 reasons why you should try using writing templates.

Saving time

It's surprising how much time organizing ideas to work together cohesively can take, and using a template that does the hard work for you helps authors write more productively.

While templates are available for all aspects of writing, let's look at a character creation template as an example for how they can save you time. Rather than sitting at your desk trying to think about all the different character traits you might want to decide on, a template will prompt you with everything from the basics (like name, age, place of birth), to their physical appearance, and even their psychology. By answering these prompts, you don't need to spend the time considering each trait category yourself — in effect, you're not wasting time planning your planning. Now apply these time savings to using structure and world building templates, and you'll find yourself with enough spare time to write an extra book (results may vary!).

Overcoming writer's block

Have you felt creatively stuck with your book? That's normal! Most authors struggle with writer's block on occasion. Making use of a template can help with overcoming your writer's block by breaking down general ideas into more digestible questions, so you can take things one step at a time and hopefully feel motivated to get writing.

For example, if you're writing a fantasy or science fiction novel and are finding worldbuilding challenging, you could use a worldbuilding template to help establish aspects including:

  • Name and location;
  • Geography;
  • People and language;
  • Social systems (religion, history, etc.);
  • Technology and magic; and
  • Economy and politics.

Using templates can be a great way to overcome writer's block as it gives you a foothold in the creative process; you start by answering questions, and get to see where your imagination takes you next. These responses can help flesh out your work, from detailed character profiles to believable settings, or can prompt you in entirely new directions, depending on where you're stuck.

Keeping track of the big picture

Once you've got an idea for the overall story and characters of your book, plot-focused writing templates can be used to plan an outline scene by scene. This allows you to keep track of the main plot and any subplots as well as how they fit together into the overall timeline. Without a comprehensive plan, it can be tempting to just start writing and 'see where things go', but this can be a recipe for disaster as you may end up writing yourself into a corner.

You can include or omit any section from your plan, that's the beauty of customizable templates! Either way, many planning templates will include sections such as:

  • A basic story outline
  • Detailed scene descriptions
  • Characters featured in each scene
  • Each scene's setting.

Writing without a proper structure from the start can lead to unsatisfying arcs and a confusing timeline. Instead, filling out a scene-based template will let you spot any gaps in your writing before it's too late.


Ultimately, templates are just another tool to use on your writing journey and using one doesn't make an author any less creative. They can act as great starting points to get authors over the first hurdle, or help organize ideas to have meticulously planned story arcs. If you haven't already, it might be time to consider using writing templates.

Rose Atkinson-Carter is a writer with Reedsy, a marketplace that connects authors with the world's best self-publishing resources and professionals like editors, designers, and ghostwriters. She lives in London.