This template is made to help you plan your story.
You can use it however you want; no one will grade you on it, so go ahead and write down anything you want on it.
This template can also be a witness of your evolution, as in, you can gradually write down all of your ideas for a title or a summary, and then, later, strike them or remove them. Think of it like a draft you use in an essay: it doesn't have to be clean, you can write wherever you want, whatever you want and however you want.
It contains some tips to guide you, tips we thought of with the experience of both a writer and a reader. You can also be your own guide of course! It's up to you.
Try to choose something original and appealing. Your title doesn't have to make the reader go all « Oh my God ! I love this title! I will gladly read it!", but it shouldn't be something that will them think it's cliché, boring, or mary-sue-ish. A title is one of the first images given of your story, along with the summary; it's just like the introduction of an essay for a teacher.
It would be better to avoid simple-ish titles like "[insert fandom] with my OC" or "[insert fandom] story", the reader doesn't learn much from it.
You can think of tons of titles, you can mix languages, make puns, whatever, but you'll always notice some titles will look less appealing than others.
Also, no one says you can't use your title in the story... as in, the title could as well be a hint for an epic plot twist you've been preparing. It's all up to you! Use your imagination to think of a title that will satisfy you.
If you're hesitating, you can of course write down different titles and decide later.
A summary is a key. Good summaries will most of the time make the reader want to know more and thus, read. Of course you don't have to display a pro-looking summary, but it would help if you properly think of one.
-> Do not say in your summary that you “suck at summaries”. That's basically what makes them bad.
-> Even if you have no idea, don't write "I have no idea
", put whatever you like, even quote from your story if necessary, but put a summary.
-> Your summary has to sum up what your story is about, so don't just put the pairing it is about (if it’s a romance story) and nothing else. Chances are people won't feel like reading it, except maybe the people obsessed with those pairings, but there aren't a lot.
-> Don't write in sms (meanin ritin liek this cuz it will b hard 4 ne1 2 understand u or think u r a gewd riter if u rite liek this) and try to have the grammar right. Avoid misspellings. Summaries kind of reflect your story, so readers who see badly written summaries will think the whole story is like that, even if it's not (some very good stories can have bad summaries).
-> You can put questions, suspense that will make the reader want to know more about your story. You can also have very good summaries wherein the questions are answered.
-> It's not necessary, but maybe putting warnings (Ex: "Warning: Gender-bend, Angsty, rated T for language", "Warning: Sexually suggestive, Sasuke X OC", "SasuSaku, rated K+ for light violence") would be good. You all know that sometimes readers will be disappointed when reading a fanfiction because they read something they didn't like. Some of those readers can actually leave nasty and mean reviews, or even flames, so to avoid receiving them, put some warnings. Warnings can also be about pairings, that way, the people who don't like this pairing won't read.
-> Even if you write a story rated T or M, try to leave the summary safe for young readers. On Fanfiction.net, the fanfictions rated T are on the same page as the fanfictions rated K and K+, so beware. Don't put shocking words and ideas.
Of course, there aren't rules for a summary. Again, it's all up to you to come up with brilliant ideas. A coded hint, a significant quote for your story, a catchphrase, a key sentence, a brief sum-up of the situation... You can make it whatever you want! Just put yourself in the readers' shoes, and think objectively: "Would I want to read a story with that summary?"
Obviously, this template is made for you to use in any way, which means that if you're still not sure of your summary, if you're hesitating between two or three or more, write them all and then you'll decide which one suits your story best.
This part is only necessary if you're writing a romance fanfiction (you could use it for a friendship story too though).
You can write as many pairings as you want, but too many can be confusing for both you and the reader. More pairings also mean more work, and love/friendship doesn't happen instantly. It all depends on how long you want the story to be, on the characters and on your plans. Again, there aren't rules or boundaries, you should set your own rules and adapt yourself to the kind of story you want to write.
This part is only necessary if you have an OC in your fanfiction. Do not describe your OC here, check the Character Sheet.
This part isn't necessary if you only have one.
Also, if you feel like you don't need it, don't fill it in.
Writing here a quick project for your story with the arcs and some things you'd like to remember could help a lot. It doesn't have to be detailed, but it might help having an idea on how many chapters you'll have, how many arcs, remember the interesting twists in the story, etc.
There isn't a method on how to plan your story. Obviously, if you prefer keeping your main plot in your mind, do so! It depends on your personality, your wishes and such.
You could use a chart if you feel like it, for example, if you're writing your story over the plot of the fandom, to be able to see and compare, to avoid plot-holes and much more. This "parallel view" could be in your benefit.
You could also use this part to randomly throw ideas, if you're still not sure of what to write.
However, try not to plot your story chapter per chapter. You don't know how long it will take to describe an event, and you'd end up with irregular, disproportionate chapters, length wise.