Book Review: Outlining Your Novel

This is the first in a series of book reviews. On the third Friday of every month, I’m hoping to share a book review of the writing books I have read recently. We’re starting off with Outlining Your Novel by K.M. Weiland.

Title: Outlining Your Novel
Written By: K.M. Weiland
Genre: Writing Helps/Non-fiction
Recommended Ages: AnyAuthor

Introduction:

I got this book for a birthday or Christmas present last year and finally got around to reading it. Now I wish I had read it sooner. It helped me tremendously. As I read the book, I did the checklist at the end of each chapter for the novella I planned to write in November. Originally, I thought it would take me the whole month to write the book, but because of the steps I took using the tips in this book, I wrote all 23,183 words in just 17 days.

Clarity: 1/1

K.M. Weiland definitely has a way of putting things that is helpful, clear, and witty. The way she wrote these tips using both good and bad examples from her own experience was exactly what I needed.

Usability: 1/1

I basically already answered this question in my intro, but I’ll continue the story. A few weeks after finishing this book and writing my novella, I decided I needed a little help in a novel I’d already started, so I went through the books and looked at my underlines and the checklists at the end of the chapters. I now have a new plot twist in the book and a plan for the ending—the part I had lacked before.

Readability: 1/1

I have the paperback version of this book, so I’m can’t vouch for the Kindle version, but the book was set up in such a way that it was easy to underline things I wanted to be able to easily find, write in the margins, or just plain read. The font size was perfect and the formatting easy to maneuver.

Overall writing quality: 1/1

Par excellence. I don’t think I really need to say more than that.

Un-put-down-ability: 1/1

The only times I put down the book were to follow her instructions or checklist, or to do something I had to do because unfortunately, the family needs laundry done, food to eat, and I really shouldn’t ignore everybody for too long.

Conclusion: 5/5

If you are a writer, author, or aspiring author, you should read this book. I would have considered myself somewhere between a pantser and planner, but now I’m leaning a little more heavily toward the planner spectrum. Even if you are a pantser, you should still read this book. There are character development tips in here that were invaluable to creating some of the most 3D characters I have ever written.

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2 Comment

  1. Excellent review; thanks! I have “Structuring Your Novel” but have yet to get my hands on “Outlining.” Sounds like it has really good tips! 🙂

  2. Thanks, Perry. I have that one, too, I think. I highly recommend “Outlining.”

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