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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!
Ok, as a blogger who is used to writing a 1,000 word post by the seat of my pants, I could probably give you a well written review of a few paragraphs as easily as a track star can give his coach a lap around the track. But my point is most writing can benefit from some forethought, brainstorming, and organization up front, even casual nonfiction. Undertaking a novel, especially in the mystery or suspense genre certainly could gain an advantage from careful outlining and K.M. Weiland gives you the tools to do so.
Weiland is the first to admit outlining isn't for everybody. Her easy, non dogmatic approach to a topic she is passionate about is a pleasure to read. Most of the methods she provides are tried and true, but for a newbie this is a valuable book that will have you brainstorming, writing timelines, filling notebooks, answering key questions about your characters and your plotlines -- what needs to happen?. Or, how would your character react here?
Outlining isn't for everybody. But for many of us, a roadmap that points us to where we want to go and helps us to explore all facet, points of view, and characters before we begin the first draft can be invaluable. At the very least, it saves time, prevents false starts, and keeps you from meandering so far off course that you have to heavily revise your draft. If you want to be prolific, sharpen your focus, and be a more effective and efficient writer, this may be the book you need.
If you’ve ever found yourself paralyzed by a blinking cursor or suddenly struck dumb at the sight of a blank piece of paper, Outlining is your solution.
If you believe that you can only write when you’re inspired, Outlining (plus Steven Pressfield's inimitable The War of Art) will have you believing otherwise.
And if you think that outlining will snuff out the spark of creativity that writing by the seat of your pants sometimes produces, realize what Weiland writes in her conclusion: “Story is as much about structure as it is about inspiration.”
From crafting your premise to creating character sketches and discovering your setting, Outlining Your Novel (and its additional workbook) will help you think through nearly everything you’ll need to consider in order to create a workable, functional, and utterly useful outline before you start writing your next novel.
The singular drawback to Outlining is what I considered to be the nonessential interviews Weiland conducted with other authors after every chapter. Though they certainly provide a brief glimpse into those authors’ styles, their answers were often quite the same. With regard to the question of plotters vs. pantsers, most all were plotters (outliners). I would have liked to see an answer by a pantser who’s experienced success.
But maybe that’s the point. Maybe success is equal to plotting.
However, Weiland makes up for those less-than-compelling answers by doing what most authors would never do: she reveals her own outlines. To provide concrete examples of the exact outlining methods she specifies for readers, Weiland offers up her own early outlines for a few of her books. This is helpful (and smart marketing on her behalf).
Outlining Your Novel can be read in one sitting, but it’s better suited toward reading one chapter and then sitting down at your computer (or with a pen and paper) and working on what you just read.
As for me, Outlining has accomplished its goal: I can’t wait to begin my next book.
Read the full review plus my favorite quotes from the book at BlakeAtwood[.]com