Announcing Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story

The last few years have been quite the ride for me. Professionally, I was able to claim the title of full-time writer after Outlining Your Novel went live in 2011. It held the #1 spot in the Writing Skills category in Amazon’s Kindle Store for a full year (and remains in the Top 10 even now!). That one still boggles me. I never expected the book to take off like it did, and I owe a tremendous thank you to all of you for your help in making it a success.

On a personal level, this experience led me to many new breakthroughs in my own writing life and my understanding of fiction. To begin with, it made me realize how hungry writers are for solid guidance in figuring out the writing methods and processes that work for crafting good stories in a way that is both intuitive and knowledgeable.

Second, it taught me a thing or two as well! I thought I had outlining all figured out, but I learned so much from putting together the book (and its subsequent workshop). And finally, it led me to what has so far been the single greatest series of discoveries and epiphanies in my understanding of storycraft. These “whammy moments” (as I like to call them) all boil down to one idea: story structure.

I can’t even begin to describe how excited I continue to be by the whole idea of structure.

Once you understand the common elements in all good stories, you feel as if the veil has been lifted from your eyes. You always saw the stories; you even understood them to some extent. But suddenly you’re seeing story from a whole new dimension  It’s like an X-ray machine. Where once you only saw the surface skin and hair, now you get to see the muscles and bones and beating heart that make this whole thing work.

Like most authors, I do my share of struggling with recalcitrant first drafts. Even with a solid outline, some stories just don’t want to cooperate. So I spill my quart of blood and pound of flesh, working my heart out to make it better. So many of us think that’s the only way. But it’s not!

This is where structure comes into play.

Once you understand how to structure your stories, scenes, and even sentences, you have what is, in essence, a checklist for your writing. You can check off each little piece of the mechanics and leave your heart and soul and imagination free to create your worlds of magic and wonder.

The novel I’m working on right now, a historical fantasy called Storming, has been the easiest and most fun book I’ve ever written, and I credit this almost entirely to the fact that it was the first of my books that benefited, from its very inception, from my knowledge of structure.

This is why I’m so excited to announce that my next book will be Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story.

This book will follow up Outlining Your Novel by exploring structure from the top down: story to scene to sentence. We’ve talked about many of these subjects in earlier blog posts, and I’ve had a blast digging even deeper, fleshing things out, and providing a guide to the sometimes bewildering but always insanely rewarding world of story structure.

At this point, the book is scheduled for release early this fall. I’ll have more info and a solid release date soon. Stay tuned, and thanks for sharing this crazy writing life with me!

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About K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland

K.M. Weiland lives in make-believe worlds, talks to imaginary friends, and survives primarily on chocolate truffles and espresso. She is the IPPY and NIEA Award-winning and internationally published author of the Amazon bestsellers Outlining Your Novel and Structuring Your Novel. She writes historical and speculative fiction from her home in western Nebraska and mentors authors on her award-winning website.

Comments

  1. YAY! I love the OUTLINING book. I can’t wait to add this one to my shelves as well.

  2. Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed Outlining. I hope you find this new one helpful too!

  3. This sounds great – I can’t wait for it to come out! I loved your series on scene and sequel, which helped me structure my own work so much better. I’ve read so many books on how to write books and taken various courses over the years, but have to admit that since discovering your blog I’ve learned so much more and my writing has improved dramatically. Thanks again for sharing and helping as much as you do! 🙂

  4. Structure is so exciting – on so many levels. It’s transformed the way I write and think about story, and I get happy goosebumps whenever I get to share it. Makes my day to hear you found the series on scenes useful!

  5. I JUST ordered “Outlining Your Novel” from Amazon, and I’m eagerly waiting for it to arrive on my doorstep. Can’t wait to read it and re-attack my current WIP! I already love outlining, but I’m in need of more focus. So excited!

    I’m a little more intimidated by structure; it’s the kind of thing that I find remotely fascinating, but also confusing and hard to keep straight. …But I know it’s majorly important, and I want to have that “light bulb moment” of suddenly having it all make sense. If anyone can make structure clear and interesting, you can! I look forward to hearing more about this project. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Thanks so much for caring about other writers.

  6. Loved “Outlining Your Novel!”. I rave about it, and recommend it to every writer I meet. I’m a checklist fanatic and it helped me tweak my writing process. I’m excited about your new book! YAY!

    Oh, congrats on claiming the coveted full-time writer position!

  7. OH thankyouthankyou thank you!!! You explain things on your blog in a way I can really understand. Story structure is something I really struggle with. Looking foward to this book!

  8. Sah-weet! If it’s half as good as “Outlining Your Novel” it will be awesome! Can’t wait!

  9. Congrats. . .I’m looking forward to reading it. And I love your new look!

  10. @Amber: I used to feel exactly the way you do about structure. But once that light bulb went off, boy howdy!

    @Elke: Thank you so much! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate positive word of mouth.

    @Handy Man: Story structure doesn’t have to be complicated at all. Once you understand the basic principles, it’s very easy to break down and figure out.

    @fromtherange: Awww, thanks! I hope it lives up to expectations!

    @Jarm: Thanks! Finally got around to have some new professional photos taken.

  11. Sounds good! Look forward to reading it, off to check out Outlining.

  12. Thanks! I think Outlining builds well into Structuring, so I hope you find it a useful starting point.

  13. Oh Yay! I loved your outlining book; I’m actually about to leaf through it again and see what I can apply to my WIP. I’ll be looking out for this one!

  14. Eeeeeee! So excited. Craft book junkie = me. Beautiful picture, BTW. Writer love!

  15. It sounds wonderful. I’m always looking for new and improved ways to write. Congrats!

  16. Happy days!

    Another great addition to the Weiland section of my ebook library. Looking forward to it.

    Congratulations and thank you, as always, for your writing insight.

    Cheers,

    Tonette

  17. I just bought the Outlining book. I’ve always found your blog posts helpful. All the best for your Structure book release.

  18. Congrats! I’ve never been so relieved in my writing life as when I started to understand some of the principles of story structure — it’s like a lens coming into focus that helps you see clearly what a story needs (and doesn’t). Looking forward to reading what you have to say in your book, as I’ve always enjoyed your advice here and on Twitter!

  19. @Nicolia: Yay! So glad it was useful to you.

    @Melanie: Thanks! We had a lot of fun with this latest photo shoot. Relieved I don’t have to do it again for a few years though. :p

    @Kathi: Structure has been a one of the biggest stepping stones in my own writing career. It’s one of those “big” lessons that change everything.

    @Tonette: Thank you!

    @Denise: I appreciate it. I hope you enjoy Outlining!

    @David: Yes, it changes the way the world looks. The light bulb goes on and nothing is ever the same again.

  20. Can’t wait to get a look at it! 🙂 Now, I just have to hope I have time to read it this fall!

  21. Thanks, Liberty!

  22. Congratulations, K.M! I must say I am not surprised. I absolutely adore your blog and the way you present the information it’s so easy to understand. A lot of my writing has improved tremendously after I discovered you so you deserve all your success. I am so happy for you!

  23. Thank you so much! I’m so happy that the info has been helpful to you. That’s what it’s there for, so it makes my day to hear it’s been useful!

  24. I know what you mean, story structure rocks, and your recent series about it here was fantastic. You’re on to a winner with this one.

  25. Eagerly awaiting, I have the outlining your novel and I WILL be adding this one to my shelf.

  26. @Adam: Thanks! I’m so glad you found it useful.

    @Chellie: I feel this book on structuring really complements the one on outlining – and vice versa. I hope you enjoy it!

  27. I know for a fact that the stuff on structuring a scene alone already makes this book worth every penny. I follow a fifteen beat structure now but will be interested to see your take on it. Looking very forward to this book. Will this be available on Kindle?

  28. Yes, it will be available for Kindle, as well as in epub, pdf, and paperback formats – depending on where you’re purchasing it.

Trackbacks

  1. […] swamped but getting through my reading:  K.M. Weiland‘s forthcoming Structuring Your Novel and the WIP excerpts from fellow SCBWI critique group […]

  2. […] also post some book reviews here, as well, the first being K.M. Weiland‘s forthcoming Structuring Your Novel. I’m excited for this series and look forward to the […]

  3. […] In 2011, she released Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success and the book was well-received. […]