Outlining: The Secret to Creating Story Structure

Today, I’m guest posting on Write to Done, with a post on “Outlining: The Secret To Creating Story Structure.” Here’s an excerpt:

Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story

Structuring Your Novel (affiliate link)

Creating story structure is the most important technical aspect of any story. It brings solidity and focus to a story; yet it is often overlooked and misunderstood. Novelists sometimes believe structure will sap their stories of originality. But this is about a bajillion miles from the truth. Structure is nothing more than a roadmap — a time-tested archetype for crafting the rise and fall of action and character evolution within our stories.

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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. Hi! I wanted to reach out to thank you for your blogs and books, I teach at a film school and I use them extensively in my scriptwriting classes! I wondered if you had any advice on writing short stories as opposed to full length stories – I suppose in my case I am thinking of how to guide my students as they write short film scripts. I think the most fundamental principles of story structure still apply (e.g. ensuring character arcs are oriented around a particular lie and truth etc.) but I wonder if you have any further advice on writing stories that simply don’t have the duration typically needed to adequately meet each of the points along a 3-act structure.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Thanks for your note! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the blog. Makes my day to hear it’s been useful!

      Short stories can be a bit of a wild card when it comes to structure. It all depends on what kind of story it is. Some short stories follow the classic three-act structure to the T – just on a much smaller scale.

      But then we also have short stories that are more vignettes – snapshots, moments. And they’re all about a single plot point at the end. The drama rises to that point, and then the story is over.

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