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Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success Paperback – 1 Jul 2011


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Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success + Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story + Outlining Your Novel Workbook: Step-by-Step Exercises for Planning Your Best Book
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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: PenForASword (1 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0978924622
  • ISBN-13: 978-0978924621
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.1 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 98,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

K.M. Weiland lives in make-believe worlds, talks to imaginary friends, and survives primarily on chocolate truffles and espresso. She is the internationally published author of the Amazon bestsellers Outlining Your Novel and Structuring Your Novel, as well as the western A Man Called Outlaw, the medieval epic Behold the Dawn, and the epic fantasy Dreamlander. When she’s not making things up, she’s busy mentoring other authors on her site helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com. She makes her home in western Nebraska. Find out more about her fiction at kmweiland.com.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By E. Bråten on 25 Oct. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I'm getting ready to write my first novel and was looking for tools to help me with this daunting process. I used to be a journalist and have published several short stories but have never succeeded at completing a novel. In all my previous attempts I had tried the "pantsing" method -- just launching myself into the writing, flying by the seat of my pants and seeing where I ended up. Major fail every time. So this time around, I decided to try planning and outlining.

A discussion on a writer's forum led me to this book. K.M. Weiland is a published author and shares practical, humourous and proven tips to help novelists create their characters, brainstorm their plots and structure their stories. At the end of every chapter, she includes interviews from successful authors who share their own outlining process.

K.M. Weiland doesn't present her method as the only way to outline, but invites readers to glean what they find most useful and what will work for them. I'm recommending this book to every writer I know.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Judy Croome on 25 Mar. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Outlining is my weakest point as an author, because outlining (like two people running across a cricket pitch, when only the runs for one will count as a score!) has always struck me as a waste of precious creative time. Weiland's excellent book has gone a long way to changing my mind.

Well-set out, easy to read and meticulously researched, Weiland's professional advice is touched with a natural, appropriate humour that makes learning from this text a pleasure.

While Weiland gives solid, practical advice on how to make an outline work for you, she is not prescriptive. There's an emphasis on the importance of finding a way of outlining that enhances your own creative process, rather than exhorting the reader to slavishly follow one "right" way of outlining. The inclusion of interesting interviews with several published authors about their outlining process underlines the main point of this book: having an outline is vital for a well-structured book, but the shape an outline takes is up to each individual author.

Another useful part of the book was the check list at the end of each chapter (my favourite checkpoint is from Chap 11: "Kick the cat off the keyboard"!!! HRH Theodorable may object to that advice!)

Although there was much in the book that, as an experienced author, I've already learnt along the way, Weiland has organized her writing advice in such a clear, focused and informative manner that, by the end of the book, I had a stronger logical understanding of much that I had done unconsciously in my writing. As Weiland points out, the best novels are those that perfectly blend rational, logical techniques of writing with the intuitive, creative art of writing. After having read this book, I feel better equipped to at least aim for this sweet spot in writing my next novel.

I highly recommend this book to experienced authors. For new authors, I would suggest it is essential reading.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By KP on 9 Feb. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was disappointed with this book. I was looking for a book that would give me fresh ideas on how to outline the plot of my novel - technical, practical, tangible tips. From the title that's what I thought I was getting. However, more than halfway through the book I still wasn't reading anything about how to outline my novel. She really only discusses logistics of outlining (and only in passing) in the last chapters of the book, and even then I didn't find anything insightful in her outlining method (maybe other readers will). The interviews with other writers interspersed throughout the book I found repetitive - she asks each person the same questions and they pretty much all respond with the same answers. Really this is a book that summarizes the elements of a story - characters, setting, premise, pacing, pov, etc. I gave the book two stars only because in reading about various story elements I did come up with a few further details for my own story, but I think any book on the basics of writing might have done that.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By daisycow on 13 Oct. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had rather reluctantly come round to the idea that outlining was a necessity, having previously held the view that the rather more glamorous seat of the pants style of writing seemed more fun and less work. But I just seemed to be going round in circles and not making any progress.
I had read several outlining books, none of which had inspired me, but the price and the blurb on this one did, adn did the Kindle format. But once downloaded the Table of Contents rather dismayed me by its comprehensivenes, as did the author's forecast of at least three month's of planning the outline. Three months just outlining?
However once I got stuck into it the book is quite easy reading, broken down into logical chapters and sections.
There is good advice on every section of the book and on such areas as characterization and plot.
There is room for you to plot as tightly as you wish - or to leave some room for characters to develop as you write.
It is all clearly laid out, along with clear arguments as to why you should outline rather than not.
There are many interviews from authors with their reasons for plotting.
I would stroingly recommend the book and the author's model for outlining, and I am currently using it myself to re-write my old manuscript in outline form.
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