Wednesday, July 16, 2014


I think it's worth a writers time to read books on their craft and polish up on skills. Some books and advice don't work for you and that's 100% okay. Others hit you and change the way you write. 
This book came at a time when I really needed to figure out how to outline better. You see, I'm a pantser. I can write fast. For NaNo last year, I wrote 44,000 words in a weekend. Basically, I won NaNo in a week. 
But the editing and revising are killing me! I'm all over the place. I wanted to try outlining to see if I could clean up my story enough that my critique group wasn't scratching their heads trying to figure out where the story was going and what the inciting incident was and what my characters goals are.
So I thought I'd give this book a try. I can outline and still pants. 
I hope it works. I'll try and remember to report on my progress when the book I've outlined (contemporary romance) goes through my critique group. 
Until then, what books do you recommend?

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:
Ensures cohesion and balance
Prevents dead-end ideas
Provides foreshadowing
Offers assurance and motivation
Dispel misconceptions:
Requires formal formatting
Limits creativity
Robs the joy of discovery
Takes too much time
Even if you're certain outlining isn't for you, the book offers all kinds of important tips on plot, structure, and character. Includes exclusive interviews with Larry Brooks, Elizabeth Spann Craig, Lisa Grace, Dan L. Hays, Jody Hedlund, Carolyn Kaufman, Becky Levine, Roz Morris, John Robinson, and Aggie Villanueva, answering important questions:

Can you describe your outlining process?
What is the greatest benefit of outlining?
What is the biggest potential pitfall of outlining?
Do you recommend "pantsing" for certain situations and outlining for others?
What's the most important contributing factor to a successful outline?

I'm a total pantser when it comes to writing. I have written seven books and the editing is so painful! But outlining always threw me off. I felt like my creativity was being stifled. Until I read this book. I used the methods to outline a story I had started and was struggling with and I was happily surprised at how it turned out. Now I have to write the story but I'm confident that using my outline will make writing and editing this story much easier.



K.M. Weiland said...

Thanks so much for the shout out! I'm so glad you enjoyed Outlining Your Novel. Makes my day to hear it was useful to you!

Taffy said...

Thanks for stopping by, Ms. Weiland! I LOVE your book. It has really helped this pantser.