Big News! Introducing the Outlining Your Novel Workbook Software

Big News! Introducing the Outlining Your Novel Workbook Computer ProgramThe various approaches authors bring to outlining their novels are vast. But the one thing we all have in common is the desire for an effective, streamlined process that helps us create a solid foundation for our stories—as painlessly as possible.

I have long been a proponent of outlining, through my many resources both here on the site and via my books Outlining Your Novel and the Outlining Your Novel Workbook. Hundreds of authors have written to tell me they’ve found the workbook an invaluable tool, both as a guided process in helping them brainstorm all the most important parts of their stories, and in giving them a place to actually write out and organize their notes.

But what happens when you need to transcribe your notes to the computer—or you begin a new book and need to start the workbook process all over again? What if you had a computer program for that—one that would let you do all the exercises and answer all the questions (and more) from the paperback workbook—and then let you start all over for your next book?

Whelp (you know what’s coming, right?), I am geek-squeaking all over the place with the announcement that the Outlining Your Novel Workbook software (available for PC, Mac, and international readers) is finally here!

Introducing the Outlining Your Novel Workbook Software

This project has been in the works for almost a year now, and I know many of you are just as excited as I am. So let me tell you the very cool story of how all this came about…

I have long been a connoisseur of organizational software that makes my writing process easier and simpler. That was why, when a user of my workbook emailed me a copy of a computer program he’d put together for himself, based on my Outlining Your Novel Workbook, I flipped out.

Bob Miller with Outlining Your Novel Workbook Computer ProgramMeet Bob.

Programmer, novelist (and magician) Bob Miller from Minnesota is both the muscle and the brain behind the Outlining Your Novel Workbook program. He created the framework for an easy-to-use program that offers all the questions and exercises in my workbook, but in a fun, intuitive digital format that allows you to brainstorm your outline right onto the computer, then export scenes as needed—and reuse over and over again.

Outlining Your Novel Workbook Computer Program Scene List

Outlining Your Novel Workbook Computer Program

Outlining Your Novel Workbook Computer Program Character list

We’ve worked together to refine the program into a tool that can help writers figure out their premises, characters, story structures, and scene outlines.

Use the Outlining Your Novel Workbook Software to Take Your Stories to the Next Level

Join me for a full tour of the program!

(You can find lots more video tutorials and information on the Support page.)

The Outlining Your Novel Workbook program is a powerful brainstorming tool for writers. It is designed to help you discover the brilliant possibilities in your ideas, so you can create a solid story that will both entertain and move your readers.

Writing a novel is a complex process that often leaves writers uncertain about where to begin or what questions to ask. By applying an outlining approach to your writing (at any stage in the process), you can gain a big-picture view of your plot, character, and theme. You’ll be able to identify potential plot holes before they ever get started, dig past obvious ideas to those that are truly unique and interesting, and create a plot that taps into the power of a solid Three-Act Structure.

Outlining Your Novel Workbook Computer Program Story Structure Skeleton

The Outlining Your Novel Workbook provides an intuitive and easy-to-use fill-in-the-blanks format that will guide you through every step of the process. Creating your own outline is as simple as starting on the first screen, using its prompts and lessons to work through your story in the most intuitive way, and clicking through the tabs at the top of the screen to access important sections such as Premise, Characters, and Settings.

Outlining Your Novel Workbook Computer Program Settings

Create your scene outline by identifying questions and plot holes still to be addressed, map your character’s arc and theme, and play with fun features that allow you to “cast” your characters and create story-specific playlists (which you can listen to without ever leaving the program).

Outlining Your Novel Workbook Computer Program Playlist Player

When you’re finished, you can export your scene list section to popular writing programs such as Scrivener or print the entire thing (please note: only the scene-list section will export as text documents you can edit in other programs).

Outlining Your Novel Workbook Computer Program Export to Scrivener

The Outlining Your Novel Workbook program makes outlining a fun and empowering process that will help you write your best story.


  • Outline – Create a story with a solid Three-Act plot structure and perfect scene structure.
  • Premise – Easy fill-in-the-blanks give you a perfect elevator pitch every time.
  • General Sketches – Brainstorm the big picture of your scene list, character arcs, and theme.
  • Character – Get to know your characters with an extensive character interview, featuring 100+ questions.
  • Settings – Keep track of your settings, explore your best options, and answer helpful world-building questions.
  • Fun Extras – Import your mind maps and world maps, keep track of your story’s timeline, cast your characters, and create story-specific musical playlists.
  • Print and Export – Print your entire outline or export just the scene-list section as txt files.

Mac Version HerePC Version HereInternational Version Here

(Please note: Due to the constraints of the programming engine, this software will only run on 64-bit computers. If your computer has more than 4 GB of RAM installed, it’s probably a 64-bit.  Most Windows 7, 8, and 10 operating systems are running 64 bits. However, earlier version of Windows, such as XP, are probably incompatible with the program. Check your system properties for a description your computer.)

Help Me Celebrate the Program’s Launch: Win Prizes!

What that’s? A squeal-worthy new computer program to help you write better isn’t enough? Well, of course, not! That’s why we have launch prizes too! For the rest of the week, you will have the opportunity to win one of three prizes:

Grand Prize Winner: A Writer’s Care Package, featuring:

  • Bark-covered pocket notebook
  • Handmade twig pencils
  • Roll-up pencil case
  • The Lost Book of Fantasy writing-music CD by Peter Gundry
  • “I write. What’s your superpower?” mug
  • $25 Starbucks gift card

Outlining Your Novel Workbook Computer Program Grand Prize Writer's Care Package

Second-Place Winner: Three-month Audible subscription.

Outlining Your Novel Workbook Computer Program Prize Audible Subscription

Third-Place Winner: Bookends

Outlining Your Novel Workbook Computer Program Prize Bookends

Bonus—Hourly Prize Today Only: E-book versions of my Outlining Your Novel and Bob Miller’s thriller novel The Smart Kid.

From 6 AM to 11 PM, I’ll be drawing a winner from the overall pool of contestants every hour for the digital version of my writing-craft book Outlining Your Novel, which is the perfect companion for the computer program, and Bob Miller’s “thriller with a heart” The Smart Kid. Winning this prize does not exclude you from the Grand Prize drawing on Saturday, but the sooner you enter this one, the better your chances of winning! Check back throughout the day to discover hourly winners, listed below:

6 AM: Cheryl Shih

7 AM: Ali

8 AM: Kate Duncan

9 AM: Jean

10 AM: David

11 AM: Lauren

12 PM: Melanie

1 PM: Terry

2 PM: Kristina

3 PM: Samantha

4 PM: Ted

5 PM: Kate

6 PM: Tom

7 PM: Nate

8 PM: Catherine Wu

9 PM: Hannah

10 PM: Maia Menschik

11 PM: Alexis

To Enter

The contest will run through Saturday, June 3rd. You can earn contest points and increase your chances of winning by sharing your “lucky URL.” The more people who enter via your URL, the more entries you gain for yourself. (Note: no purchase is necessary to enter.)

Winner #1: Balle Marie

Winner #2: Nancy Chestnutt

Winner #3: Lauren Fulche

Good luck to everyone in the drawing, have fun, and thank you for helping Bob and me celebrate the launch of the Outlining Your Novel Workbook computer program! Happy outlining!

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About K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland

K.M. Weiland is the award-winning and internationally-published author of the acclaimed writing guides Outlining Your Novel, Structuring Your Novel, and Creating Character Arcs. A native of western Nebraska, she writes historical and fantasy novels and mentors authors on her award-winning website Helping Writers Become Authors.


  1. I absolutely love your outlining your book and the workbook ebooks. I’ve found them immensely useful.

  2. I’ve been reading you blog for a while and I can’t tell you how excited I was to find out about your new software. I installed your software today and so far I love it. However, when going through the theme section I noticed you have the perfect layout to figure out the protagonist’s positive arc but no options for a flat or negative arc. Is this something that will be added to an updated version? Also, the option to have more than 1 arc would be beneficial since there are often several arcs in a book.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Glad you’re enjoying the software! And, yes, the Creating Character Arcs Workbook book version will be coming out this fall. I’d definitely like to incorporate some of it into the program in the future, if possible.

  3. Michelle Finley says

    Hello. Just received this invitation to sign up. I’ve been looking for an affordable novel writing class or group, someone to apprentice with online as I have ideas, writing skills, bursts of inspiration but for the past several years all my “short stories” want to be far too large for my time allotments, feel vaguely related and when I go back I’m lost. I complete great essays but have come to realize that the scenes and characters inside me crave that I write a novel. Alas I know not how to make that happen. So here I write … Michelle

  4. Heather Langley says

    Tech question for you, K. I’ll be upgrading to Windows 10 in the next day or so. Should I wait till then or will it transfer over cleanly from my existing Windows 7 ?

    Excited to get started 🙂

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      You can run the software on both 7 and 10, so if you want to install it on both operating systems, you shouldn’t have any problem. However, if you start writing on the old computer, be sure to export all your projects before you upgrade and reinstall the program on the new one. Here’s a vid on exporting.

  5. Sorry I’m late to the party. This looks AMAZING!!! I can’t justify the expenditure at the moment but as soon as I can…this is going on my computer. 😀 Congrats on your launch, Katie!

  6. Okay… I’ve had the software for a while now.

    In a word… Clunky.

    I am a big fan Of Katie’s work, spent a lot of money on her eBooks, and always read her pages.

    I think this software was rushed. It is not much more than a relational database.

    It cannot be tailored, the fields are finite.

    Navigation… far too many arrows… they are all over the place… one tires of being lost. Too frustrating…

    Some fields after you have entered data will not scroll, too bad if you forgot what you have written, it’s there, but you won’t see it.

    All in all… yeah… only costs forty bucks…. but I won’t use it.

    Sorry, but I am being honest.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Very sorry to hear the software didn’t work out for you. If you’d like, feel free to email me about refund options.

  7. As much as I like what’s written here, I’m not dropping $40 on a piece of software that I have no capability to demo first. Create a demo version, for me to try before I buy, to get a feel for whether or not I should use this, and perhaps you’d have my money, but until then, I think I’ll have to pass.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Unfortunately, for the time being, distribution limitations aren’t allowing us to offer a trial version.

  8. I received my “BOOK” bookends and they are so cute! Right now they are holding “Outlining Your Novel”. Thanks for the giveaway!

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Hey, they even match Outlining Your Novel‘s color scheme. 😀 Great to hear you’re enjoying them–and congrats on winning!

  9. Madelaine says

    Trying to get this program from your store (though will I be able to get this from too?) and I keep getting an error with Paypal when I try to purchase. It says: “Please try again” and it returns me to the merchant page and doesn’t allow me to complete the purchase. According to Google, this happens when “they [Paypal] return this error when the seller who is set as primary receiver of the transaction has a negative balance.”

    I’m not sure if it’s on my end or if its a problem with the store. I’ve had no problem purchasing from the store, using Paypal, previously so this error is very strange.
    Being Canadian, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get the program from (if I can then awesome!)

    Was really hoping to get it to help streamline my outlining.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Hmm, sounds like a PayPal issue to me. If you’d like, we can do a workaround with me sending you an invoice. You can email me here.

      • Madelaine Bauman says


        Yeah it seems PayPal, for some reason, doesn’t want to complete the purchase on the software. I’m not sure why or if there’s a workaround for this issue.

        I’ll have to wait until the 26 of June to email about this, as it takes my bank a few days to transfer funds to PayPal. But, in the meantime, I’ll see if there’s a workaround.

  10. Jane Garrett says

    Hey there! Interested in this product because you are a master of the craft of outlining and pulling out diamonds from the rock of starting a new novel. I am wondering if this is an online software? I write from 2 different computers. Also, is an app in store for the future?

    I would definitely be interested in some customization options. I have never found a one-size fits all planning workbook for novelists. Human brains work differently, especially creatives, and we need to have some flexibility in the planning. Perhaps optional categories to add? Tie it in with Evernote or use similar options? Wondering if that is on the horizon?

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      We’re currently looking into options for eventually putting the software online. But for the time being it’s offline only.

  11. Larry Czaplyski says

    Hi, I purchased your software last year and couldn’t get it to work on my PC. Now, I’ve updated my PC and I’m wondering if your program has changed or been updated since October 2017?

  12. Colleen Pinner says

    I purchased the software program and have it on my old computer, I just bought a new computer and would like to run it on this one. How do I move it over?


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