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Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story + Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success + Structuring Your Novel Workbook: Hands-On Help for Building Strong and Successful Stories
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: PenForASword (August 17, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0985780401
  • ISBN-13: 978-0985780401
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (249 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

115 of 116 people found the following review helpful By GRIGORY RYZHAKOV on August 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This book is about the most overlooked aspect of the writer's craft - the fiction novel structure. Many newbie writers, and I was one of them, just start writing stories without realising how easy it is to fall into multiple traps that would ruin their books. Some of us have an excellent inbuilt sense of the structure, others, like me, not so much, yet every writer needs to learn about the rules of storytelling at least to know why our stories are missing something or simply fail to appeal to the reader.
KM Weiland systematically goes through the macro- and micro-structure of the novel. First, she tells us meticulously about the architecture of the three-act plan stories and all the important elements of it, e.g. first plot point, inciting event, climax, resolution. Then, she writes about the structure and dynamics of the scene and the two types scenes and their variations. Finally, she discusses the micro-structure at the level of sentences and the common signs of the clunky prose.

I have started following Katie's blog for writers, Wordplay, years ago and I think I've learned from her most of the techniques described here before I even started reading the book.

"Structuring Your Novel" is a distilled and well-organised digest of dozens of Wordplay blogposts and KM Weiland is definitely the right person to give us her expert opinion. She is a successful historical/speculative fiction writer, so a lot of teaching comes from her own experience.
I congratulate the author with this new brilliant guide for writers, I'm sure it will help many of us become better writers.
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Tony Maxey on August 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a beginning fiction writer, I read lots of books on writing `how to's. Most of these books that I find most helpful cluster around topics related to plotting, character development, and story telling.

I soon learned that story structure and plot are tied together, so regardless of the genre you are writing in, making your plot work within your story structure is absolutely key to keeping your reader engaged and continuing to turn the pages of your story.

K.M. Weiland's new book, `Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story` breaks new ground. This book bridges the gap between story structure for movies and structure that works for novels and short stories.

Ms. Weiland knows whereof she speaks; she is the author of three published novels as well as several short stories, as well as a previous non-fiction book, `Outlining Your Novel.` I purchased that book, and it led me to her very useful teaching web site, which I have been followig for some time.

In her new book, `Structuring Your Novel,` Ms. Weiland discusses the principles of structuring your story as a whole, but then in the second half of the book, she breaks new ground -- at least it was new to me-- by detailing out the structuring principles at the level of a story's individual scenes. It turns out there is quite a bit to know about how to structure and order scenes so as to be successful in getting your reader to continue turning the pages. Ms. Weiland gives a very complete treatment to this, and I haven't seen any other book that gives as much information on this topic as she does.

`Structuring Your Novel...' is chock full of concrete examples of the concepts the author presents.
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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Rachelle on August 24, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
What I Loved

I learned a lot just from the Table of Contents--and that was how I knew I was going to be fascinated by the rest of K.M. Weiland's latest release, Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story.

"Story structure is deeply instinctual. Most readers don't know a thing about structure; but they do know when a story doesn't work because something in its structure is off. Same goes for authors. Many successful authors write without any knowledge of structure, and their stories still work because they're instinctively following the tenets of structure without even being aware of it." -- Chapter 13

I was right. It only took me a few days to read this book, which is saying something when it comes to me and nonfiction. K.M. Weiland offers a thorough breakdown of what story structure means--a daunting task. Plus, she does it without being dry, boring, or overwhelming. I thought the terms and information would send my brain into overload, but Weiland remained witty and clear throughout.

Full of examples of what she means, illustrations of her points, and applicable advice for writers who want to grasp what it means to structure their novel, this book is an excellent resource for plotters and pantsers, those who are familiar with the three-act structure and those who are not (yet).

What I Didn't Like As Much

During the first half of the book, I wished that the examples Weiland chose (which include Pride and Prejudice and It's A Wonderful Life) were slightly younger. I wanted to see her dissect The Hunger Games or one of her own novels, but over the course of the book, I began to appreciate what she was doing--using examples that had half a chance of being familiar to a wide audience.
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