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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.
He makes the structural parts a novel interesting to learn about, like the characters he tells you to write about, that you should care enough about them to describe them well. He obviously cares about the structural parts of the novel because of the powers they hold, such as propelling the reader forward to want to know what happens next to the characters. Foreshadowing is another structural element that Weiland discusses early in the book.
Although I want to race through this book because it is so enjoyable, I am reading it slowly, practicing writing using some of the structural elements as I read about them, and taking notes. If the rest of the book is as good as the first part, then I'm sure it will have been , like finding out who the murderer is in a gripping who-dun-it novel, a satisfying use of my time .
I use a method of writing called 'free writing' which is really the generation of any ideas and putting it on paper, but I get writer's block. This book by Weiland, plus another method of writing called 'object writing' are helping me to get over the block.
There are a ton of other more comprehensive and informative reviews already out there, so I won't repeat the same things. Basically you don't know it, but you need this book. Trust me. Whether you've just begun plotting your very first novel, or like me, you're starting you're hundredth this book will help you take your writing to the next level. Great job, Ms Weiland!
I give this five out of five stars for its excellent presentation of complicated concepts. Every writer can go to it when they are stuck and need a reminder of the basics.
If you struggle with how to structure your novel; if you struggle with understanding structure or why it is so important; if your novel has been referred to as 'slow' or 'sluggish'; if you want to start your first novel out right--then this book is for you! Whether you're starting your first novel, or trying to understand all this structure 'stuff', or if you are trying to 'fix' a novel you've already written, then this book will help with all of that.
She breaks the concepts down into easy to understand bits from an 'I've-been-there-perspective' which is quite refreshing. She gives examples from literary works as well as modern movie examples. This is the easiest to understand book on structure that I've read. If you have had difficulties understanding the concepts before, then this book is for you.
I think I see a theme developing here, 'This book's for you!' Well, it is. It is simple, yet thorough. It is well-written to a fellow author from one who has been and is still in the trenches with you.