Thursday, July 5, 2012


Title: Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success
Author: K.M. Weiland
Publisher: PenForASword Publishing (2011)
Format: Book
Source: Borrowed from library
Genre: Non-fiction, writing

Description: Writers often look upon outlines with fear and trembling. But when properly understood and correctly wielded, the outline is one of the most powerful weapons in a writer’s arsenal. Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success will:

Help you choose the right type of outline for you

Guide you in brainstorming plot ideas
Aid you in discovering your characters
Show you how to structure your scenes
Explain how to format your finished outline
Instruct you in how to use your outline
Reveal the benefits:
Ensures cohesion and balance
Prevents dead-end ideas
Provides foreshadowing
Offers assurance and motivation
Dispel misconceptions:
Requires formal formatting
Limits creativity
Robs the joy of discovery
Takes too much time
Even if you're certain outlining isn't for you, the book offers all kinds of important tips on plot, structure, and character. Includes exclusive interviews with Larry Brooks, Elizabeth Spann Craig, Lisa Grace, Dan L. Hays, Jody Hedlund, Carolyn Kaufman, Becky Levine, Roz Morris, John Robinson, and Aggie Villanueva, answering important questions:

Can you describe your outlining process?

What is the greatest benefit of outlining?
What is the biggest potential pitfall of outlining?
Do you recommend "pantsing" for certain situations and outlining for others?
What's the most important contributing factor to a successful outline?

Review: Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success by K.M. Weiland focuses on ways to outline without destroying creativity.

Writers are often divided into two types: plotters and pantsers, but both sides can learn from each other. Outlines don’t have to kill creativity nor take away the thrill of discovering the characters and plot. Through various tools, the writer can learn about their novel in way that doesn’t bore the person. This book also includes interviews with various authors and how they do or don’t outline.

Outlining Your Novel opened my eyes to various ways to outline from in-depth character interviews to brief key points. So much more goes into the best novels beyond good storytelling, and outlining can save a writer from wandering lost in the woods for a hundred pages. The author interviews honed in that every writer outlines differently. There is no one correct way to outline. Weiland often uses her own experience with outlining to show what works for her. Best of all, this book helps a writer focus on the key ingredients that need to be in a novel.

K.M. Weiland’s Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success is a brilliant tool for any person wanting to learn more about the craft of writing.

Five Bookworms = I loved it!