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How to Use Outlines/Templates
How to Use Outlines/Templates

Adding an outline will simplify writing your book.

Updated over a week ago


  • Outline/Template selection is done during onboarding, but you can remove or change your selection once you have access to your Library.

  • If you did not select a template during sign-up, you can add one from the +menu in the Body heading of your manuscript.

  • There is no way to 'preview' a template, as there is during sign-up. To add, change, or view an outline, you must select it, add it to your book, and explore it yourself. If it doesn't suit your needs, you can simply delete it and try a different one. If you're changing the outline from one type to another, be sure to copy-paste any information you've entered as needed before deleting the one you don't want.

  • REMEMBER: Anything under the Outline subheading in your book's side panel will not show up in your exported manuscript. The outline is solely for your creative purposes. To add text for the official chapters, you must Add a Chapter to the Body.

Selecting a Template During Onboarding

When you first sign up to Chapterly, you are directed to select if the book will be a work of Fiction or Non-Fiction for the template for your book. Once you select the main template type you are given options for an outline template.

Once the main template is selected you are directed to confirm your outline.

The outline template that you selected will then populate for your book.

Once the outline is selected you will be directed to a tour of the feature and then the instructions for the outline can be reviewed.

If an outline was not added initially when signing up:

You can add an outline template from the โ€œBodyโ€ folder located in the book navigation bar located at the left side of the Chapterly dashboard. If you want to add an Outline template to your book, click on the โ€œ+โ€ sign next to the Body folder. You will get the option to: add Outline, Add Chapter, Add Part, Add Note, Add Board, and Add folder. Hover over Add Outline to see the templates available that can be scrolled through. Select the outline that you want to use and it will be automatically inserted into your book.

There are several templates to choose that best suit the Fiction genre. Under Outline templates: 20 Day Method: Voyage and Return, Rebirth, Tragedy, Overcoming the Monster, The Quest, Rags to Riches, and Comedy. The Outline: 27 Chapter templates: Voyage and Return, Rags to Riches, Tragedy, Overcoming the Monster, and The Quest. Freytag's Outlines templates include: Overcoming the Monster, Tragedy, The Quest, Rebirth, Voyage & Return, Comedy, and Rags to Riches.

The following outline templates are best suited for non-fiction: The 13 Chapter, Biography, Memoir, Self-Help, and Teaching New Skills.

If the newly selected outline is not immediately visible you can click on the Body dropdown arrow to show it. Then, click on the dropdown arrow for the outline that you selected to reveal the content. At the top, you will see an Outline Guide that has instructions on how to use it. If you click on the ellipse next to the Outline Guide you can either edit the name of the outline or delete it. If you select the Outline Guide page, it will give you instructions on how to use the outline.

Deleting an Outline

You can delete an outline by clicking on the ellipse {...} next to it and then clicking on "delete."

Happy Writing!

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