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Planning Your Novel: Ideas and Structure

(Foundations of Fiction #1)

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  151 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Planning Your Novel: Ideas and Structure takes you step-by-step through finding and developing ideas, brainstorming stories, and crafting a solid plan for your novel.

Over 100 different exercises lead you through the novel-planning process, building upon each other to flesh out your idea as much or as little as you need to do to start writing.

Find Exercises On:
- Creating
Kindle Edition, 326 pages
Published February 27th 2014
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I'll write a review on this later, but honestly - one of the best writing guides I've picked up in quite some time. It's easy to understand, comprehensive with the different types of writers as well as writing for working on a project - just a lot of good stuff here. Review to come. :) ...more
Kamryn Koble
I finally finished working through this book and it has been invaluable. So much was missing from my initial drafts that I had no clue was a problem before this. The brainstorm activities are highly helpful, and I recommend this to anyone who wants to write a novel but has no idea how to go about it. Janice Hardy clearly walks you through every single step for planning a compelling story. Tell me how it works for you!
Katie {awonderfulbook}
I was looking for a workbook-style book about planning a novel. I saw another of Hardy's books mentioned on Diane Callahan's YouTube channel, and, when I looked up that book, I found this one too, so I thought I'd give it a try.

I found it very helpful. It breaks the steps down into small chunks, and you can spend a while going through it from start to finish, or you can jump around, depending on which parts you need.

I thought this was good for helping you get to grips with a novel project, wheth
Allan Walsh
Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Planning Your Novel:Ideas and Structure, is a book for writers who want to learn more about planning. It will provide you with the knowledge you need to help you plan your novel.

The Bad Stuff: If you are an experienced writer, you will know most of the information within this book, however it may help to solidify the steps and technique used in planning and you may even pick up one or two new things.

The Good Stuff: If you are new to writing, I strongly recommend you read this book. It gives an
Kelly Vincent
Oct 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best writing planning books I've read. Hardy sets out to do something that a lot of writing books try to do, but don't quite manage: tell you exactly how to plan a book. A lot of books tell you what you should do, but this book has numerous exercises that allow you to build up to the synopsis. This book is intended to take you from earliest idea through to a synopsis you can work from, but it will be useful even if you are further along in the planning process. I had an idea w ...more
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hardy leaves no stone unturned in her working through from the most basic elements of putting a story together right up to the last chapter in which she goes thoroughly through a synopsis (outline) that will stand the writer in good stead for putting together their first draft.
For some more experienced writers there will parts that you can skim or skip. It's that kind of book, but her helpful brainstorming questions are always useful for making the procrastinating writer (me) work harder at tea
Melissa Menten
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing
This is an all-in-one, step-by-step reference for writing fiction by Janice Hardy, whose Fiction University is an awesome website with writing tips. Lots of this info is free on the website, but having an organized physical reference is very handy from the initial stage of generating ideas through writing a rough draft along with many questions to work on both plot and character development. Highly recommended for beginners who want an inexpensive way to learn writing craft, or for experienced w ...more
James Walter Lee
Dec 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: craft
After an initial read, I’m super impressed! I will definitely use Janice Hardy’s Planning Your Novel to write one of my future novels. I love the format with the chapters as workshops, each one building on the previous ones. Completing all the exercises and answering the brainstorming questions should provide you with a solid synopsis to work from before you actually start writing your novel. There are lots of helpful examples to illustrate various topics, too.
Oct 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
More of a work-through-as-useful-for-a-project rather than a read-from-cover-to-cover book; I've worked through it on a couple of projects now - a revision and a new concept - and I'm impressed with its versatility and usefulness. There's a lot to offer both planners and pantsers - the former in building before writing, and the latter in regrouping for efficient revisions - in terms of pragmatic approaches to solid fiction concepts that will give strong bones to a project. ...more
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
Expected a little bit more. It helped to asked some interesting questions about the plot and characters, but nothing I couldn't find on the web. It may be more useful if you don't have any ideas on what to write about. ...more
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome book for tips on planning and organizing your story.
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Este libro es espectacular, realmente te ayuda a organizar las ideas. Además te proporciona herramientas sumamente útiles. Lo recomiendo totalmente!
Stephanie Bibb
Aug 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I've been reading Janice Hardy's blog, The Other Side of the Story (now Fiction University) off and on for a while now, and I've found her advice and discussions easy to understand. Janice Hardy has a knack for explaining what is often said but not really understood. I've been hoping she would eventually compile her writing tips into a book, and I was ecstatic when I learned that she had written this book.

I picked up the print edition, which came with the free kindle matchbook option, so I start
I've read a lot of books on writing over the last 3 years, including a few on outlining. This is one of the few writing books that have been a breakthrough for me. My second novel was stuck in nebulous idea mode, even after reading other books on outlining or plot/structure, and now it's a complete fleshed-out synopsis. (Still a couple undecided details, but that's okay. Planning Your Novel is for plotters, pantsers, and plantsers alike.)

The first outlining book I read was pretty good, with help
Debbie Johansson
Jul 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is full of helpful advice for writers of all persuasions. Easy to follow, with exercises at the end of each chapter, writers could find themselves bursting with ideas. Whether you are about to begin your first draft or have already written it, Planning Your Novel helps you maintain both structure and focus. A comprehensive guide for writers, this is a book to come back to again and again.

Julie Musil
Apr 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I religiously follow Janice Hardy's blog, and appreciate her writing wisdom. "Planning Your Novel" compiles great advice, plus adds brainstorming questions and writing exercises at the end of each chapter. A must-read for writers who want to dig deeper and push their craft to the next level. ...more
Jun 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book if you are stalled on your story. This books provides a lot of brainstorming questions. It's pretty comprehensive and detailed but can work for pantser and plotters and anyone inbetween. ...more
Stacia Leigh
Oct 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: how-to, writing
This book contains great information for the new writer and brainstorming exercises ideal for the seasoned one.
Southern Bookish
Nov 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
GREAT for getting your "constructive" brain juices flowing:) Highly recommend...all of those little hints and reminders to help keep your writing on track can be invaluable! ...more
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Janice Hardy is the award-winning author of the teen fantasy trilogy The Healing Wars, including The Shifter, Blue Fire, and Darkfall from Balzer+Bray/Harper Collins.

She also writes the Grace Harper series for adults under the name, J.T. Hardy.

When she's not writing fiction, she runs the popular writing site Fiction University, and has written multiple books on writing, including Understanding Sh

Other books in the series

Foundations of Fiction (3 books)
  • Plotting Your Novel Workbook (Foundations of Fiction, #2)
  • Revising Your Novel: First Draft to Finished Draft (Foundations of Fiction, #3)

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