Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success

Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success

by K.M. Weiland


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Can Outlining Help You Write a Better Story?

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
  • Dispel the misconceptions

Includes exclusive interviews with ten respected authors, answering important questions about outlining.

Outlining can organize your writing and help you take your stories to the next level. Find out how!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780985780494
Publisher: Helping Writers Become Authors Media, LLC
Publication date: 07/01/2011
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 392,552
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

K.M. Weiland is the IPPY and NIEA Award-winning and internationally published author of the Amazon bestsellers Outlining Your Novel and Structuring Your Novel, as well as Jane Eyre: The Writer's Digest Annotated Classic, the western A Man Called Outlaw, the medieval epic Behold the Dawn, and the portal fantasy Dreamlander. When she's not making things up, she's busy mentoring other authors on her award-winning blog. She makes her home in western Nebraska.

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Should You Outline?
Misconceptions About Outlining
Misconception #1: Outlines Require Formal Formatting
Misconception #2: Outlines Limit Creativity
Misconception #3: Outlines Rob the Joy of Discovery
Misconception #4: Outlines Take Too Much Time
Benefits of Outlining
Ensures Cohesion and Balance
Prevents Dead-End Ideas
Provides Foreshadowing
Smoothes Pacing
Indicates Preferable POVs
Maintains Consistent Character Voice
Offers Assurance and Motivation

Chapter Two: Before You Begin Your Outline
Choosing the Best Outlining Method for You
Different Types of Outlines
Mind Map
Pictorial Outline
Perfect Review
Tools of Outlining
Pen and Paper yWriter Software

Chapter Three: Crafting Your Premise
The "What If" Question
The Premise Sentence
Identifies Viable Ideas
Solidifies Characters, Conflict, and Plot
Distills the Book's Essence
Guides You to the Next Question
Gives an Easy Answer to Questions About Your Story
Prepares You for Selling Your Work
Pre-Outline Questions
How to Brainstorm

Chapter Four: General Sketches: Getting a Feel for Your Story
The Scene List
Summarize Your Scenes
List Your Scenes
Highlight the Problem Areas
Connecting the Dots
Free Write
Listen to Your Body
Ask Questions
Key Factors
Motive, Desire, and Goal
Personality Clashes
Unexpected Situations
High Stakes
Inner and Outer Battles
Use Characters to Share Theme
How to Discover Your Theme
How to Strengthen Your Theme With Symbolism

Chapter Five: Character Sketches, Pt. 1: Exploring Backstory
Using Your Inciting Event as a Launch Pad
Maximize Your Inciting Event
What Is an Inciting Event
What Isn't an Inciting Event
Where Should the Inciting Event Occur
What Constitutes a Powerful Inciting Event
How to Write Backstory
The General Statement
Exploration of Influencing Characters
Exploration of Education, Jobs, and Travel
Exploration of Personal Epochs
Using Backstory Correctly

Chapter Six: Character Sketches, Pt. 2: Interviewing Your Characters
Character Interview
Freehand Interview

Chapter Seven: Discovering Your Setting
Is Your Setting Inherent to Your Story?
How Does Your Character View His Setting?
Does Your Setting Affect the Mood?
Are You Using Too Few or Too Many Settings?
World Building

Chapter Eight: The Extended Outline: Creating a Story
What Kind of Story Are You Writing?
Who Is Your Audience?
What Point of View Will You Write From?
Select the Correct Number of POVs
Choose the POV of the Character With the Most at Stake
Choose the POV of the Character With the Most Interesting Voice
Play Around With Voice and Tense
Structuring Your Story
The Three Fundamental Elements of Story
Strengthen Your Story With Proper Framing
The Domino Effect: Make Every Scene Matter
Outlining Backwards

Chapter Nine: The Abbreviated Outline: Drawing Your Story's Road map
Organizing and Analyzing Your Scenes
Dividing Your Story Into Chapters and Scenes
Use Scene and Chapter Breaks to Keep Readers Reading
Use Scene and Chapter Breaks to Control Pacing
Use Scene and Chapter Breaks to Cut the Fat

Chapter Ten: Conclusion: Using Your Outline

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Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Judy_Croome More than 1 year ago
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.
AliceF More than 1 year ago
Ms Weiland has given me, and you, freedom to write. This is NOT a Roman Numeral, numbered and lettered outline. This is your mind and your muse taking your story in a direction it is intended. With an explanation of steps to bring your story to the point of sitting down and writing to finish. Isn't that what we want? To write the end.
kathyinorlando More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be a wonderful resource! After having drafted a book using the pantser method, I wanted to explore outlining too. This book has been an invaluable tool to me as a fiction writer. I like the organization of the book: an inspirational quote, a discussion of the topic, a checklist, and an interview with a published author. Weiland emphasizes there is no right or wrong way to do this, but she invites you to explore both paths and see what works best for you. I especially enjoyed the chapter on premise. I highly recommend this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent resource for any writer, with clear examples. With the workbook, particularly essential.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
melissa480 More than 1 year ago
Outlining Your Novel provides a step by step process for outlining a novel, and allows for freedom and creativity to modify with many other examples.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've written enouh to know what I need to do, but can be haphazard. This book is like a quick workshop that gives you straight forward reminders of aspects of fictional storytelling.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Writer shows her process for outlining and gives tips for making the outlining process useful for all writers, plotters and pantsers alike.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im so glad i bought this. Very helpful
miss_dobie More than 1 year ago
If you're the type of writer who prefers organization in the form of an outline, this book is tremendously helpful.
Angela_785 More than 1 year ago
An excellent book for all levels of writers, and especially helpful to those looking to build more structure into their novels or anyone attempting to make the transition from 'pantsing' to 'outlining' while still retaining creative freedom. If you've been resisting outlining, or are looking for a few tricks to make your outlining process more effective, this book is for you!
Mimi828 More than 1 year ago
Well laid out; easy to follow; read it twice.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago