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I liked the way this book was written, as a new author it was so easy to understand. The examples of novels was the most helpful part. I could read each one and get the true essence of what the author was explaining. Highly recommended and know it will be my constant companion until I absorb and use its knowledge.
I enjoyed every page of this book. I inspected my novel, point by point, as I read the book. I really liked that she used the same few novels as examples all the way through, taking the theory off the page and into practice. She has a light easy to read style which belies the depth of understanding and wisdom in the book.
K.M.is exceptionally good at bringing the subject into sharp focus and presenting it without distraction.
I'd recommend this book to anyone not yet on the NYT best seller list who wants to write a more effective and coherent story.
There are three main sections to Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story. The first (and largest) section talks about the ten stages of plotting, from the Hook to the Resolution, and is based on a traditional three-act structure. It's both precise and flexible, and provided a lot of food for thought.
Her points were illustrated using examples from four classic novels: Pride & Prejudice, It's A Wonderful Life, Ender's Game, and Master and Commander. I've only read one of the four, and now have no need to read the other three (and I admit that I tended to skip over the examples from the novels I haven't read). This could either be seen as evidence she didn't chose a good sample of novels (in that I hadn't read them all), or evidence that she did (in that most people will have read at least one--or watched the movie).
The second section was on scene and sequel. I wasn't certain at first what point Weiland was trying to make in writing this, but it soon became clear (and has become clearer with the book I'm currently reading, which is all scene and no sequel--which provides a graphic illustration of Weiland's point regarding the importance of having both scene and sequel in your story).
The final section is very short, and is about sentence structure. This should be obvious, but I've read enough self-published fiction to know it isn't. Writers aren't being `boring' by using similar writing patterns all the time: they are writing clearly, in patterns we understand and can follow. Weiland gives clear guidance around such technical gobbledegook as run-on sentences and participle phrases (readers might not know the technical phrases, but instinctively `feel' the glitch).
Beginner writers will find Structuring Your Novel a useful textbook, written in an easy-to-understand style with clear examples. The more experienced writer may find it more useful as a checklist, a `have I done this?'. Editors and reviewers (like me) will find it useful as it provides a way of articulating what's missing from a book--as a reader and reviewer I often feel something is `off', but don't always know what. Structuring Your Novel gives me a way of showing how the structure or the scene/sequel relationship is off-balance, and some suggestions as to how this could be improved.
I read the Kindle version, but I would suggest buying the paperback--when it comes to going back over a textbook to find the quote you want, there's nothing like flicking through pages and looking at the highlighting. In this case, the Kindle doesn't have quite the same effect. Recommended.
The discovery of story structure was extremely eye-opening to me. In ‘Structuring Your Novel’ K.M Weiland gives you the tools that you need to craft a story from idea to manuscript. She covers the subject in detail, providing a multitude of real-world examples at every step along the way. Weiland then proceeds to detail scene structure, which was equally eye-opening for me. If story structure gives you the tools to create your overview, then scene structure shows you how to put each nut and bolt in place. Finally we delve down to the sentence level to help us flesh out our scenes.
If I were to recommend just one book on writing to any aspiring author it would be this one. In its pages you will find the lessons that every writer needs to learn. My own writing has improved dramatically from these lessons. I give this book my highest recommendation to anyone who wants to know how stories are put together.