Book Review: Outline Your Novel by KM Weiland

outling your novel
Title: Outline Your Novel
Author: KM Weiland
Format: e-Book

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 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 such as 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?

About The Author:
K.M. Weiland is the author of the epic fantasy Dreamlander, the historical western A Man Called Outlaw and the medieval epic Behold the Dawn. She enjoys mentoring other authors through her website Helping Writers Become Authors, her books Outlining Your Novel and Structuring Your Novel, and her instructional CD Conquering Writer’s Block and Summoning Inspiration. She makes her home in western Nebraska.

Things I Liked
-The interviews were diverse and the links back to the different author websites were useful
-Character Profile list and the Character Ennegram chart were helpful
-I liked the checklist boxes at the end of every chapter, they were super helpful for me

Things I Didn’t Like
-It’s a short novel and I got the impression it was part one of a companion set with Structuring Your Novel
-To me, the book spent so much time convincing you to outline, it felt like it was preaching to the converted. I understand if this book was intended for beginners or people with very little writing/book knowledge, but my problem was more “which outlining technique should I use?” rather than “should I outline at all?”

Good writing book for a beginner but I would also recommend Story Engineering by Larry Brooks, Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schmidt and The 90 Day Novel by Sarah Domet as companion pieces.

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