Outlining Your Novel

A quick look on my Amazon Kindle purchases I have had Outlining Your Novel: Map your way to Success by K.M. Weiland since January 18th, 2012. Makes since, because was having a bunch of trouble with outlining novels thinking my process seemed to take way to look, want to see how other’s outlined. I started reading a soon as I bought the book like I have do with all my books on writing, but just like all books I buy on Kindle I stop even if I enjoying the book. One thing is for sure there isn’t that much new this book offers on how to write a book. What it does offer is three things:

  1. Clears up four misconceptions about outlining.(Requires formal formatting, limits creativity, robs joy of discovery, takes too much time.)
  2. Give different ways to outline
  3. Shows how K.M. Weiland process to developing a book

That last point Weiland takes all those elements of craft from the best question you can ask “What if” to scene lists, character creation, character motives, Using setting for more than just scenery, and more. While this process works for her, it will not work for everyone, and this book isn’t there to try to convert writers to her method. This book is showing how she goes about it and to give suggestions to writers on how they may want to try. By the end of the process you have your book ready to go and you start writing and the best part is can jump around and write anywhere in the novel you want if certain scenes are not coming to you, but you have an idea for later scenes.

I will not be using Weiland’s outlining style, but it did give some ideas for my own style. Such as using scene lists. I was against this as I use to have very detailed outlines that did limit my creativity. When I found that I was missing something or what originally worked on a point for point bullets didn’t work when filling them in, I was stuck for weeks trying to figure a solution. I eventually moved to a simple major points outline, I found more freedom, but again trying to figure out things on the fly to fill in the gaps was hard as well. So, I am trying the scene list for Book one and seeing how it works. I think will work as when I wrote the book back in 2005 I had chapter summaries that helped greatly, but still had the trouble coming up with all the scenes in that chapter to fulfill the purpose.

Overall, this book will help any writer who is trying to figure out how to outline a novel. Even if you only take away a part of Weiland’s process or you take all of it, you will walk away with some clues of how you will need to outline. While I haven’t looked at or have any plans to buy it, K.M. Weiland has released a workbook so you can follow through the process. Taking that into mind I am going to give this book a 9/10. Raising it up from an eight. Like I said, I haven’t used the workbook, knowing it is there if I wanted to use this process makes this book better.