Welcome to this weeks special on the eve of Christmas Eve Craft Post. Today, I will be giving writing about another author I have learnt a lot from, K. M. Weiland. You can find writing site at helping writers become authors, Here. Unlike Randy’s Snowflake Method, with a few graphics, there will be a quick summary. I sent an email to Ms. Weiland about this, but being the holiday season I have yet to hear back from her. I will be summarizing her book Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success. You can find my review of this book Here, though a spoiler I gave it a 9/10. If you would like to read it, you can buy a kindle copy for $4.99 at Amazon.com.

I read this book this summer and this book is not just her style of writing, but other ways to go about outlining. I am not going to be covering those, I suggest you pick up a copy. There is a workbook that goes with the book as well. There are seven parts to outlining under Weiland’s process. Each of these parts take time, later parts will probably take more time then the beginnings. Here is K.M. Weiland’s writing process.

Steps

  • What if Question
    • One of the best ways to start thinking of a story is by a what if question, example what if a hobbit inherits a ring of power and forced to leave home to see to its destruction? This is how most if not all my ideas for my stories start.
  • Premise sentence
    • This will look familiar as it is the same thing as Randy Ingermanson’s Elevator pitch. A one sentence summary of your story.
  • Pre-Outline Questions
    • These are general questions about your plot, one example from the book on page 52: What are four or five big moments that will occur in the plot? A quick google search and you could find tons of questions you could ask.
  • Scene List
    • This is where you list your scenes that you know of in linear order. This will help you find trouble areas that need to be fleshed out. There is more in the section that talks about connecting the dots, but writing out what you know helps you figure out what you don’t and how to make it work.
  • Character’s
    • Two sections on characters one exploring backstory and then one on more details like hair color, date of birth, parents names, Jobs. She recommends interview your characters here.
  • Setting’s
    • One of my favorite parts of the book, is her focus on setting and treats it almost as a character and how to make setting work with your story instead just being a backdrop. Sure this you can do backdrop, but the more your setting works with your scenes the better
  • Extended Outline
    • This is where you take everything you have so far and really hammer out your outline in as much detail as you can. This will go quickly in some areas and not so in others. This is where you find out if there are any areas you still need to work on.
    • Character POVs
      • It is at this point you will start want to think about which characters will be your POV characters for each scenes. Will it be just one character the whole book, or two or more
  • Structure your book
    • Lastly, though not really covered in great detail is structuring your book with a beginning, middle and end. She covers this briefly as it is beyond the scope of the book

Final suggestions

  • Like the Snowflake Method and many other writing style you will probably go back and forth between each step as you learn more about your novel and is recommended.
  • What if question is one of the best ways I have found to come up with ideas for stories ideas and will also help you craft that elevator pitch sentence.
  • K.M. Weiland says it takes her about two years to write a book from beginning to publishing, and longer developing her book in her head. Why that is her, this process may look like a lot of work, and is like most outline processes, but the more you use it the more you will find what works for you and adopt it to better fit you.

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