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Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story Paperback – August 17, 2013
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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.
The three act structure has been around since the beginning of written history, and probably even during spoken history. Start with a bang, build up tension, and end with a satisfying conclusion that makes the audience want to go out and read you next book.
Reading this book on structure, if you are bound and determined to write organically, will not change your mind. But maybe, if you understand how the three act structure works, you will put these principles into play.
I found this book and the accompanying workbook to concisely explain the structure and how to apply it to your own work. If you are an organic writer, you will benefit from the suggestions as you look down that long hall of revision. If you are an outliner you will be able to intentionally put in the points as you need to in your outline to make your work more cohesive.
I give this work 5 stars because the world needs more practical books on structure and plotting and this will be the guidebook that you need.
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. Each story or scene level structure concept is followed up with with four examples, two drawn from well known novels, and two from films, which make application of the concept easy to understand. And, the author is consistent in using this approach throughout the book. This consistency, and Ms. Weiland's diligence in finding good examples that well illustrate her points really do make this book very useful.
To sum up, a writer who understands story structure is far more likely to write reader engaging, page turning fiction than a writer who doesn't understand the importance of it. The value of a writing book is that it can help you be a better writer. `Structuring Your Novel...' is already helping me craft better stories.