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Free Excel Worksheet for Authors to Track their Book Writing

Free Excel Worksheet for Authors to Track their Book Writing

Over the years

I have written everything from technical manuals on saving energy in your home, books on faith and accuracy of scripture, a post-apocalyptic novel series, and my upcoming science fiction novel about space. Since the beginning, I have always looked at ways to streamline or simplify the process of taking creative ideas and organizing them so that I could focus more on writing the story rather than all of the laborious things that go into writing a book.

I have also loved sharing things I discover with other authors who may need the exact solutions I have already learned. Honestly, if I had read about using a notecard file and colored notecards for tracking and organizing characters, I would have immediately started using it. Instead, I didn't come up with that solution until my third fiction novel. I have found nothing that has worked better for me, including the various software solutions I have tried. Simple colored notecards in an alphabetized container work wonders, especially since my Pandemic Dawn Series has over 100 characters spanning the four novels.

One thing I used to track on paper

...but it became too tedious, is novel tracking. Once I decide how many words my novel will be, and I know how many chapters (which is determined using my colored notecard storyline system), I have an idea of how many words I need per chapter. Of course, I also know how many words per storyline, etc. The problem with doing this on paper is all the math. Not that math is complex for me. It's not. I wrote all of the formulas used in my Excel solution. I mean that math has scribbles and recalculations all over the paper from all the changes you make to your novel as you write.

Novel Tracker by Author B. A. Shields

For anyone who has ever written a novel

Storylines evolve, characters change, adjustments to the storyline must be made, and sometimes entire chapters are added or deleted. Every time you do anything, it changes everything regarding novel tracking.

So I love the paper method for most things when writing, however, not with novel tracking. I needed something that would track everything I did and needed and give me instant totals no matter what changes I made.

The Excel novel tracker I made, which I will give out for free to those who create a free user account on my website, does everything I need to track my novel progress.

It's simple to use, and as you can see from the picture, there are a few easy steps to set up, then everything else is automatically calculated as you add or remove your info.

  1. Fill in the working title of your book

  2. Enter how many words your book will be

  3. Enter how many chapters in your book

  4. List the story arcs in your book (Pandemic Dawn has six, but Losing Dani Strumm only has one.)

  5. NOW WRITE! Record the number of words and how long you spent writing/editing, and designate which storyline this chapter belongs to!

That's it!

The rest of the information is automatically calculated for you!

What percentage of each storyline is finished, how many words are in each storyline, and how many words you have left to write for that storyline.

It also calculates the average word count per chapter you need, the average hours you spent writing/editing each chapter, your average words per chapter, and what percentage of the book is complete as well as the total time spent writing and editing.

I also have a section for a few notes as well.

The following picture you see is the other addition I have to the Novel Tracker. It prints a simplified data sheet about your book for your records.

Novel Tracking Data Print Out Sheet

This makes tracking your progress even better because you can have a hard copy of where you are at with your novel whenever you want.

So, if you think you can use this, I know I use it for every book I write; sign up on my website and access this and other tools for authors I have, all for FREE!


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