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Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success (Helping Writers Become Authors Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
I read this book in less than 24 hours, highlighting points that resonated with me so I can revisit them again and again. I read it a second time to begin working on my outline. However you read it-- at the speed of light or slow and steady-- you will come away with practical tools to get your outline started. If you're a writer, you can't afford to NOT read this!
1 star = abysmal; some books deserve to be forgotten
2 star = poor; almost a complete waste of time
3 star = good; worth the effort
4 star = very good; what writing should be
5 star = fantastic; must own it and share it with others
Here is my "outline" of this book. . .
Chapter 1 - Arguments & myth-busting of whether you should outline or not
Chapter 2 - Understanding different types of outlining
Chapter 3 - Turning an idea into a story
Chapter 4 - Jump into summarizing your scene list
Chapter 5 - Developing Characters part 1 - Motives & Desires
Chapter 6 - Developing Characters part 2 - Backstory
Chapter 7 - Developing Characters part 3 - Personality
Chapter 8 - Developing Characters part 4 - Reacting to Setting
Chapter 9 - POV and story structure basics
Chapter 10 - Fleshing out your outlined scenes
Having read and owned no less than six(6) books on outlining and having outlined for the last five or six NaNoWriMo's, I had to add this book to my library when I saw it.
WHY TWO STARS?
Many of the chapters are pretty short, except the ones on character development. Those chapters "felt" like they were three times as long as any other chapter, which is why I'm left with a sense that this is a method intended for character driven stories. No love for plot-driven stories (can anyone say "most Hollywood blockbuster plots?").
Some chapters are real short, such as Setting and Story Structure, since entire books could be devoted to helping you world build or analyze different types of story frameworks. As proven by this author having a separate book on story structure titled: Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story.
In addition to the chapters being short and feeling like the topic covered were light, how these chapters translate into an actual outline is a little more vague. . .at least it was ambiguous for me.
WHY THREE STARS:
What adds credibility to the author's work is near the end of several chapters we get an different author's interview on the power of how outlining has helped them write their stories and get published. I like that!
Also, I like the Summary / Checklist at the end of most chapters. For my analytical mind, I needed the checklist! I can more easily quantify the steps to work through as suggested by the author. . . thanks to the list.
WHY FOUR STARS:
I'm more analytically minded and I want a complete list of what steps I need to go through to outline. This book is written for a more organic process.
You'll more "organically" create an outline that grows and evolves, as you flesh out your characters and answer key questions about your story versus a method that "tells you" to create a framework such as:
1. Protagonist introduced in Act 1 = check;
2. Romantic Involvement escalates in Act 2 = check
3. Chance of first kiss after story Resolution = check
4. etc. . . .
This book is not meant to give you a scene-by-scene blow of "use this framework", but to help you answer questions and develop your own outline. If you want a more scene-by-scene framework, I suggest The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing
I don't think you should ONLY limit yourself to reading this book to help you outline or develop your novel. Instead it's a supplement to other outlining/novel planning books.
What this book is helping me do is flesh out my characters more, which is resulting in new story opportunities, which I can then translate those opportunities into the "organic" outline.
Thus, this book is a good addition to one's library.
It wasn't till I switched from being a discovery writer to outline writer that I more than TRIPLED my daily word count. Also, I've completed more first drafts because of outlines. Lastly, if I had to take a break, the outline helped me jump back into the fiction story or the non-fiction book a lot quicker.
Just my two cents.
If you have a suggestion / question / or did NOT find this review helpful, leave me a comment! I'm more than happy to respond to the comment and/or update this review to make it more helpful.
If you found this review helpful please vote. Thank you!
I admit I bought Outlining Your Novel on Kindle, read a couple of chapters, and returned it. Why did I need an outline when I already used a line-of-action? But bits of what I'd read kept sneaking back into my mind, so I re-Kindled the book and read it all the way through. Things are so much clearer now; I actually know what I'm doing for the first time in a couple of months. And the book proved so useful, I ordered a hard copy so I could brightline and circle key points.
Please trust that I've got two shelves and a Kindle packed with books on how to write a novel, and that this one is the one I keep beside me, open, when I'm writing. It's the most profoundly useful of all those I've read. My thanks to the author.
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