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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 29 August 2013
I'm currently writing my first novel and have bought lots of books on the craft of writing, and particularly on structure, without finding the "right" book for me. I've never understood the rules completely: what the options are and what's carved in stone, whether I can I move an event to another place in my book, break the rules, etc. But I do believe I can stop searching now, because KM Weiland's book has eventually made it all fall into place. I put this down to three things:

1) Ms Weiland doesn't treat structure as a dry old skeleton with no life; she puts flesh on its bones by combining it with the other aspects of writing that impact on and enrich novel structure -- things like character, conflict, setting, backstory, sentence construction, and more.

2) Complementing the excellent subject matter is a well-organised format with a comprehensive and logical table of contents, and clear headings throughout the text. These aid smooth learning and make the book convenient to dip into, perhaps for a reminder on a particular point.

3) KM Weiland's friendly voice and her amazing talent for clear and simple communication make the various concepts easy to read and understand. And, if there were ever any boring bits in this book (which I doubt), they were removed before publishing!

I loved it and I thoroughly recommend it.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 27 August 2013
I follow Ms Weiland's blog, where she frequently posts insightful, thoughtful, and useful information about the craft of writing (fiction, especially). But I found this book disappointing. It contains no more than potted versions of the 3-act structure and scene_and_sequel stuff that's in all those standard instructional texts for writers. Blake Snyder's Save the Cat and Jack M. Bickham's Scene & Structure do much better jobs. It didn't help that I hadn't read any of the 4 books she chose to illustrate her instructions.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 12 September 2013
I have been writing novels for seven years now and I have vacillated between using my normal prose style and apeing successful authors. I have read Vogler and Campbell and ended in utter confusion. Then this book arrived unsolicited from Amazon. On Kindle it was cheap and I bought it.

It is the best thing I've done. I was at an advanced state with my latest novel; all completed and giving a final lick of paint. The advice was so apposite and timely that I have completely recast it. The plot is unchanged but the order in which it is revealed has changed. Another couple of months and I will approach agents with greater confidence.

I will never be a literary novelist but at least I can try to be a good story teller with Welland's help. Of course the proof of the pudding is in its eating, If the novel (provisionally titled 'The Honest Banker') doesn't sell we can decide how to apportion blame but if it does sell a greater part of the credit should go to Welland.

I should add that it is particularly helpful to people who have done the first draft of their novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 16 May 2014
I own Outlining your Novel by K.M. Weiland and have found it to be invaluable in my first foray into novel writing. When I won a competition to own another book of hers I was delighted and opted for Structuring your Novel, a book which has being on my wish list for some time. I have read many ‘craft of writing’ books and have found that I read roughly the same information in every book. Structuring your Novel is like a collection of all the best bits in a clear and concise format. I find the book easy to follow and it has rapidly become one of my ‘go to’ books. One minuscule thing that bugs me is on the quote pages—there is no need for the split words. That is my OCD kicking in! To finish, I would recommend this book to anyone wishing to improve his or her writing.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 26 September 2013
Over the years I have read a pretty large number of books on the craft of writing and found that I already knew all the points K.M. Weiland discusses in this book. The difference is the accessibility of the information being given. Her clear and uncluttered writing style is perfect for not only teaching you about structure, but also helping you understand it in context and use it yourself.

I have been increasingly stuck with my current WIP and I credit K.M. Weiland and this book with giving me a knew vitality for the project. As I read through the text I was having so many ideas that would help unstick my plot that I was furiously taking down notes the whole time.

I highly recommend this book to all writers, at any stage in their career. Just make sure you have a notebook handy!

I give Structuring Your Novel 4 out of 5 stars.

My Rating System:
1 star: I will never post a 1 star review because this means it was so bad I couldn't finish it, and I don't won't publicly rate a book I haven't read all the way through.
2 stars: I may have liked the story but it was badly written or it may have been a boring story well written. Something about it kept me reading but I didn't enjoy it.
3 stars: A good, enjoyable read. If the description appeals to you I'd recommend reading it.
4 stars: A really good book that I thoroughly enjoyed and may even read again. I will want to read other books by the same author. Highly recommend.
5 stars: Reserved for books that blew me away and whose characters I can't get out of my head. These are books that I will definitely read again, possibly several times. If I read an e-book version I may even have to go buy a hard copy for my shelves. Why are you still here? Go read this book right now.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 2 September 2014
If you are floundering in the middle of your first novel, this book will save you from drowning and bring you out the other side. Wish I had bought it sooner, maybe wouldn`t have taken me so long to figure out my own story! Not only covers novel structure but character arc and plot points. Brilliant. It has everything a novice writer needs. Highly recommend.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 19 August 2013
A week ago, I hadn't heard of K.M Weiland. Then, I found a series of You Tube videos, where she offers short but incredibly practical advice on the subject of writing books. I decided to purchase another one of her writing books, on plotlines and was really impressed. So, when I found out that she also has brought on a book on structure, it was downloaded onto my Kindle within minutes.

The beauty of K.M Weiland's book, is that it actually is more like a work book than anything else. I found myself taking pages of notes in just the first chapter. And that's because the book actually gives you questions to answer. It actually reminded me a little of being back at University, and taking notes on Scriptwriting - her book is the only one that has made me feel that way.

In the first chapter of the book alone (On first chapters no less!), you are told what to include, what to leave out, and when to start the action. And you can adapt this to your own writing.

I think a book like this is ideal for anybody from the ultimate beginner who wants to write a book but has no idea on structure, to people who have the knowledge but are struggling with it. But, despite the fact that I have studied similar subjects at Uni, I still found it very interesting and K.M Weiland manages to talk about structure in a way that isn't patronising in the slightest, so it really is ideal regardless of your level of knowledge on structuring a book.

I'm really pleased with this book, it's brilliant.
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on 14 December 2014
As a writer of novels I am a ‘pantser’ I fly by the seat of my pants (that is, without a flight plan). Pantsers don’t PLOT their novels, we write intuitively and tidy up the mess by tight editing.
As a writer I read almost everything about the craft that that looks promising. I’ve bought and read two of K. M. Weiland’s books, ‘Outlining your Novel’ (2011) and ‘Structuring your Novel’ (2013).
For one who doesn’t plot, I found a lot of value in both of these books. Out of them I learned to evaluate what I have written, to analyse in retrospect, as it were. My plotting is not as tight as Weiland would have it; but then, my novels do not depend upon plot so much as upon the journey of the protagonist through the story. Stories must have a shape, a logic, a cause-and-effect; and Weiland shows how to put it together. ‘Structuring your Novel’ is a five-star tool for both plotters and pantsers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 June 2014
Fantastic guide, highly recommended to all aspiring novelists, especially to "pantsers" and those who are in search of a form to their fiction.
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on 1 May 2014
An essential read for any writer, helps to brainstorm ideas to fit in with the proper structured framework. It makes obvious what writers often naturally do, and help make it a conscious process. If you're an Outliner you'll love reading through, I think all Pantsers should too (it will probably save you time editing later) but if you're a very extreme pantser then you may find even the ideas in this book too confining - but it will make you a better writer.
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