Outlining Your Novel Workbook by K.M. Weiland

Outlining-Your-Novel-Workbook

A novel is too big to hold in your head all at once, especially if its a novel you haven’t written yet. Even if you’re able to keep track of a basic beginning/middle/end plot, you also have to consider character, theme, setting, backstory, voice, and a dozen other things. Even “pantsers” who never outline take notes along the way.

Any writer who is feeling overwhelmed by the size and scope of a novel (read: all of us) can benefit from OUTLINING YOUR NOVEL WORKBOOK. Weiland’s previous book, OUTLINING YOUR NOVEL, taught writers how to make a useful outline. This one takes writers step-by-step through the process with exercises and questions. By doing the exercises, a writer will have every essential piece they need to write a complete and engaging novel.

Weiland starts with the premise. She then takes writers through envisioning the big scenes, drops back for character sketches and setting ideas, then moves ahead into a detailed scene-by-scene outline. This organization mimics my own process perfectly, although every writer is different and Weiland encourages them to skip around if they want, or drop sections that don’t make sense for their books.

In fact, Weiland emphasizes that a good outline is whatever works for the writer. Even if a writer only did some of the exercises, or altered them to fit, OUTLINING YOUR NOVEL WORKBOOK provides enough questions to make sure a writer is thinking deeply about her novel, and enough structure to be sure she can complete it.

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rating: 4 stars

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pie slices: 8 slices craft

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This book is best for: beginning writers

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I recommend this book.

2 thoughts on “Outlining Your Novel Workbook by K.M. Weiland

  1. I would recommend that anyone who buys the book make photocopies of the pages rather than writing directly on the workbook. In my experience, every novel requires a different way of being written – and a different way of being outlined. Bits of planning that seem like overkill for Book A are probably exactly what you’ll (oddly) feel are necessary for Book B, and Book C will require both parts, plus a good dose of attention before the sun comes up, because that is the only time Book C will reveal itself… I guess what I’m saying is I love the idea of the workbook, but think that it’s not a one-size-fits-all for novels, even when the books are written by the same author.

    As always, thank you for the thoughtful review, Alex!

    -aniko

    • I agree. The workbook provides space to write directly in the book, but not much space. When I outline, I write a lot of words to capture my ideas. I’m using a separate notebook to go through it with my current WIP.

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