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Planning Your Novel: Ideas and Structure (Foundations of Fiction) (Volume 1) Paperback – March 13, 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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  • Planning Your Novel: Ideas and Structure (Foundations of Fiction) (Volume 1)
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Janice Hardy is the award-winning author of the teen fantasy trilogy The Healing Wars, including The Shifter, Blue Fire, and Darkfall from Balzer+Bray/Harper Collins. The Shifter, was chosen for the 2014 list of "Ten Books All Young Georgians Should Read" from the Georgia Center for the Book. It was also shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize (2011), and The Truman Award (2011). She's the founder of Fiction University, a site dedicated to helping writers improve their craft. Her popular Foundations of Fiction series includes Planning Your Novel: Ideas and Structure, a self-guided workshop for planning or revising a novel, the companion Planning Your Novel Workbook, and the upcoming Revising Your Novel: First Draft to Finished Draft. She lives in Central Florida with her husband, one yard zombie, two cats, and a very nervous freshwater eel. For more information, please visit her at her writing site, Fiction-University.com, or www.JaniceHardy.com.
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Product Details

  • Series: Foundations of Fiction
  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Janice Hardy (March 13, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 099153641X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0991536412
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #914,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Janice Hardy is well known in the writing world for her excellent blog on writing - I follow it regularly for tips on the craft, which she always presents in a easy to understand format. Her voice is never condescending, but always helpful, and reading this book is almost like having your most reasonable and supportive friend sit beside you, guiding you through the often-frustrating process of novel writing. I'm so delighted Janice decided to put her wisdom into one handy, must-have manual. It contains everything you need to know to craft a tight, well-structured novel, including brainstorming, plot, characterization, theme, setting, point of view, inciting events, even the dreaded synopsis. I'm sure I will be referring back to this book often.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very useful book! I'm plotting my 7th novel (2 published to good reviews), but always looking to learn more. The goal is to write a better book with less fussing and cutting, and this book is definitely helping me achieve that goal! The sections are exactly what I need to work through the full plan, so I can hit the ground running when I start writing that excruciating first draft. Everything is clearly explained. I LOVE the brainstorming questions! I'm making little cards of them so I can doodle on them in between other things. And I appreciate the explanation of "filter words," with examples that make clear the different effects that can be achieved. That has given me a little brainstorm about how to differentiate my two POV characters. All in all, one of the best craft books I've read, and I've read a bunch. Thank you, Ms. Hardy!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've been reading Janice Hardy's blog, The Other Side of the Story (now Fiction University) off and on for a while now, and I've found her advice and discussions easy to understand. Janice Hardy has a knack for explaining what is often said but not really understood. I've been hoping she would eventually compile her writing tips into a book, and I was ecstatic when I learned that she had written this book.

I picked up the print edition, which came with the free kindle matchbook option, so I started reading the ebook while waiting for the print version to arrive. Quite handy to have, though I must say that I love the formatting of the print book so much more. Due to the nature of ebooks, the print book formatting is much easier to follow through the charts.

As for the content itself, everything is really easy to understand, and helps further clarify what's already on her blog. Some of the information is a bit repetitive, but I honestly found that it helped reinforce the various lessons learned from each chapter. Those lessons became easier to remember as she went, and lessons from earlier chapters came back later to help push you forward. Plus, if you've been following her story with Bob and the zombies (which she uses to illustrate points occasionally), this book continues that story and uses it to illustrate how structuring a novel can work.

I highly recommend Planning Your Novel: Ideas and Structure by Janice Hardy. Her points are easy to follow, regardless of whether you're cobbling together a first draft or evaluating a later draft to make sure all the pieces are in place. I anticipate reading through this again as I work through other drafts and stories, and I look forward to the future books in this series.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I religiously follow Janice Hardy's blog, and appreciate her writing wisdom. "Planning Your Novel" compiles great advice, plus adds brainstorming questions and writing exercises at the end of each chapter. A must-read for writers who want to dig deeper and push their craft to the next level.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of the author's blog - Fiction University so I was delighted when she packed so much of her wisdom, experience and knowledge into a writers craft book. I purchased the hard copy because I knew that it would become one of my go to writing books and I was right. I recommend this well written book for anyone who is writing a book. The author covers everything from the initial brainstorming to writing the much dreaded synopsis. Janice Hardy has a gift. She is able to explain concepts of storytelling in a way that makes it so clear to the reader. I've always read her blog posts for just this reason, but I love having my own little manual next to my side when I write. Janice doesn't try and force the reader into believing that her way is the only way, in fact she covers many different avenues one can take to get the the same place. We all want to get that same place - a published novel. She is quick to point out that there is no right way or wrong way - what is right is what works for you. But, she offers so many options for a writer that you can't help but learn. I like that she included many exercises. I also admit that many times when I read a writing craft book, I skip the exercises. It's probably been a mistake to do so and I'm glad I didn't skip the exercises in this book becasue little by little, the more time I put into Janice Hardy's well thought out writing exercises, the more I noticed an improvement in my own writing.

This book really is a workshop that teaches you how to plan and write your novel. The author covers everything from characters to plotting and even teaches you how to write your blurb or pitch. The author shows you how to do it and then discusses it.
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