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Helping Writers Become Authors #2

Outlining Your Novel Workbook: Step-by-Step Exercises for Planning Your Best Book

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Learn How to Make Your First Draft Easy!

Award-winning author K.M. Weiland’s previous book, the bestselling Outlining Your Novel , showed writers how to embrace outlines in a way that makes the writing process fun, inspiring, and easy. Now it’s time to put those lessons to use! Building upon the principles you’ve already learned, the Outlining Your Novel Workbook presents a guided approach to getting the bones of your story down on paper, identifying plot holes, and brainstorming exciting new possibilities.

Containing hundreds of incisive questions and imagination-revving exercises, this valuable resource will show you how to: This accessible and streamlined workbook will empower you to create a powerful outline—and an outstanding novel. Start writing your best book today!

103 pages, Kindle Edition

First published November 12, 2014

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About the author

K.M. Weiland

29 books2,278 followers
K.M. Weiland lives in make-believe worlds, talks to imaginary friends, and survives primarily on chocolate truffles and espresso.

She is the award-winning and internationally published author of acclaimed writing guides Outlining Your Novel, Structuring Your Novel, and Creating Character Arcs, as well as Jane Eyre: The Writer’s Digest Annotated Classic.

Her fiction includes the gaslamp fantasy Wayfarer, the historical/dieselpunk adventure Storming, the portal fantasy Dreamlander, and the medieval epic Behold the Dawn.

When she’s not making things up, she’s busy mentoring other authors on her award-winning blog HelpingWritersBecomeAuthors.com.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 70 reviews
Profile Image for Stella.
347 reviews76 followers
December 1, 2014
Got the Kindle version. So useful. Although I did read the book and loved it and found it very useful I never followed advice and I just kept on pantsing. And of course, although I am done with the first draft of my novel, I there are parts that just don't work and I know it and I need to really sit down and plot rather than do my very favorite part - just write.

I started answering the questions and doing the exercises already.

Love it how easy it is to just underline in Kindle then copy paste onto a doc (or Scrivener as I did) and just work your way on it.

Great price too.
Profile Image for Sarah.
Author 40 books398 followers
May 17, 2022
While if you were planning on using the whole thing, this might seem a bit much, there are a lot of helpful worksheets in here. I personally plan to use the ones I find helpful.
Profile Image for Caro.
781 reviews72 followers
October 1, 2018
Much like her Outling your Novel book, the accompanying Workbook to Outlining your Novel is an excellent read that is definitely a must read for writers!

I loved the guided approach in the workdbook and generally like it when things are organized so I worked my way through the Workbook (in one sitting actually)! I highly recommend checking it out if you have read the previous book (and you really should read Outlining your Novel first as it goes more into detail what each section is about) and like to do some great excercises to help solidify what you learned before!
Profile Image for Devon Flaherty.
Author 2 books31 followers
January 17, 2023
I’ve run into K. M. Weiland several times on the internet and, I think, in Writer’s Digest. She has an award-winning website for writing help and I believe I have subscribed to her emails in the past. I think that some of this happened years ago when I was self-/indie-publishing, so I still associate her with that, but she has branched out. (Full discolsure: after writing this I did a search and was reminded that I wrote an article for her website a decade ago, “11 Ways Stay-at-Home Moms–and Other Busy Folks–Can Find Time to Write.” Whoops. Forgot.) On a list of books to read for writers I found Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success. Wanting to get a real handle on this outlining/plotting and structure thing as I write a trilogy and edit a fantasy novel, I picked up this book second (after Save the Cat! Writes a Novel).

I have not read any of Weiland’s fiction. See her page above to figure out if you would like to. Her fiction (fantasy, historical) seems to garner reviews just north of four out of five stars, which is pretty darn good, but it is not widely read, so the reviews are limited. If you sign up for her mailing list right now, you get one of her books free. (Probably electronic copy, but I can’t say that for sure.)

Outlining Your Novel is worth the read if you are looking to outline a novel. In fact, it’s worth the read even if you are looking to write a novel, because the case should be made to you that outlining (as opposed to following your intuition and “pantsing”) is the best option. I actually believe this and I also believe that planning is not the polar opposite of passion, creativity, or great writing, but either way, I think you should give the idea your ear if you are writing long form. Perhaps this isn’t the top book I would give you to convince you to plan/outline, but it wouldn’t be a bad one to begin with, either. (I would probably, at this point in my reading, send you to Save the Cat! Writes a Novel, which is enjoying a heyday and is longer and a bit more conversational). But Outlining Your Novel accomplishes some of the same things: Weiland makes a case for planning, she guides you through the process of planning, and gives writing tips and advice along the way. Even though I have already heard from other authors (Jessica Brody of Save the Cat! and Christopher Vogler of The Writer’s Journey), there were some aha! moments for me. Sometimes Weiland has a different opinion, but sometimes she just talks about a little something that I haven’t yet covered in my studies.

Her advice does sometimes feel random and incomplete, which may be because she doesn’t give me what I always want in a book like this (craft, self-help, cookbooks), and that is an enormous checklist to wrap it up and put a bow on it. I have made this checklist, below, but it is not amazing because I threw it together from the notes that I made while reading; she could have done it better. (I also added my own two cents once in awhile in brackets.) In order to really walk through the process that she writes about, you’d either have to do it as you read, take your own notes, or use the companion book, Outlining Your Novel Workbook, which I’ll talk about in a sec. She also has other helpful books, like Structuring Your Novel and Creating Character Arcs and a workbook for each of those. (I wonder if and how she manages to provide information that is not redundant between these three “systems.”)

Note: the book is self-/indie-published, and I have nothing against that, but it is clearly so. In other words, the fonts, design, feel, and even the editing are not top-of-the-line. While she’s done a pretty good job, I could spot it a mile away and I am—good or bad—partial to aesthetically pleasing, even hip, books. End of note.

The book is fairly short. It is straight-forward (though without my blessed checklist). Her voice is authoritative and clear. I can’t decide if I appreciate her using her own work as examples (because she shows us her process with them) or if it felt like I was being sold her books through her teaching. She does have other authors weigh in on their outlining process and the benefits thereof, which is helpful (but I have to admit I was like, who is this author and why would I trust them?). All in all, the book was full of helpful information for outlining and could be the only book you use to come up with your own method (which is ultimately what like 99% of us do). For me, I’m more curious to sample a half-dozen as I develop my method (which I have watched really morph during my last writing residency into something that makes perfect sense for me and involves lots of notecards and walks in the woods). I also think that if you really want to try out her method, it would be worth purchasing Outlining Your Novel Workbook.

Image from Amazon.com
Speaking of, Outlining Your Novel Workbook is pretty useful, but not very, um, pretty (also self-published) or even that self-explanatory. I’m not sure it has to be, since you could just crash through it answering the questions however you want and it—at the very least—will generate many, many ideas (and therefore scenes) for your new book/project (or even one you’ve already written and needs a serious edit). But there were times when I needed to reference Outlining Your Novel to know exactly what I was supposed to be doing and how that fit into the whole process. In fact, I only really understood the process as a whole when I was going over my notes after reading Outlining Your Novel. Then I was like, “Oh, that’s the big picture.” It would have been nice for her to spell it out in both the books.

But she doesn’t want to force her process down our throats, anyway. She has some advice and plenty of suggestions, but in the end there is a lot of flexibility in “map[ping] your way to success.” Like I said, I stumbled into my own process with the notecards while reading through this book, filling out the workbook, and referring back to the Save the Cat! beats, all while organizing in Scrivener. I did find filling out the workbook helpful for coming up with ideas galore, but it wasn’t the only way I did it. In the end, I think walking through Weiland’s basic process using both the book and workbook is most helpful as a sort of checks and balances. If you can just slow down and fill out every page (making copies for more character interviews, because there aren’t enough), then you know you’ve done everything she thinks you should do. Your bases are covered. You can step up to the writing starting line with enormous confidence. And I suppose that’s part of why Outlining Your Novel is also necessary: among other things, it makes the case that you should slow down and finish an outline before beginning the first draft of a novel, even if you don’t want to or aren’t used to it, because you’re going to save yourself a lot of grief at a later date.

So, yeah, not the sleekest writing book out there, but well worth a read if you are figuring this novel-writing thing out and won’t absolutely get your knickers in a twist (or stick your nose in the air) about planning. Weiland is on creativity’s side; she just believes that outlining is on creativity’s side as well.


Explore story possibilities with a mind map, pictorial outline, mapping, or a “perfect review.” What is the story you would like to read? [See other suggestions from me HERE.]
Before You Outline:
Get your tools in order like pen and paper, yWriter (or Scrivener), or a calendar. [I would like to add notecards, colored notecards, a box to put them in, sticky notes, and possibly a corkboard with pins.]
Write your “What if…?” questions and “What is expected?”
Write a premise sentence.
Ask Weiland’s pre-outline questions (p53-54).
Rough-Draft Outline [The whole time I’m doing this, I write scenes on notecards and occasionally get them in order. I leave plenty of room to add to notecards. I also insert colored notecards to mark the “beats” in the story, to make sure the structure makes sense. This time I am using the Save the Cat structure, but I have used the Hero’s Journey before. There are others. I don’t add notecards for things like character sketches, but I do for scene ideas or plot point that are generated from these things. Sometimes my card starts extremely vague.]
Summarize the scenes you already know about.
Mark scenes that need elaboration.
Ask questions to fill in the plot holes.
Spend time with the protagonist, starting with imperfection and tools, then revelation and change.
Think about your stakes, looking for lags, making the conflicts huge, varying the intensity, touching every scene with frustration.
Make sure the opening scene grabs the reader with conflict.
Identify areas of foreshadowing.
Strengthen the theme by identifying the internal conflict, how and why the character will change, how they will demonstrate their views at the beginning and end, symbolism (and repetition), and subtext.
Work on the inciting incident: it’s location in the novel; what caused it; how the protagonist reacts and why (from what past experience); and what unresolved issues will continue to spiral them?
Create a backstory. Hint at it and reveal at the last possible moment and quickly.
Do character interviews (pp116-119) or do it freehand or with enneagram
Make a settings list. Streamline them by combining or deleting and use them powerfully and descriptively.
If writing speculative fiction, world build using Patricia C. Wrede’s Worldbuilding Questions [or a workbook].
Revisit favorite movies and books to identify the moments that grabbed you.
Identify your audience (age, gender, ethnicity, worldview)
Choose your POV and POV character(s) based on who is most affected by the “news.”
Hone your beginning: start w/ MC and his normal world in a characteristic moment; Begin w/ movement; give your readers a reason to be sympathetic; give the MC a desire/goal; lock in the inciting event; make that MC react to the event.
Hone your middle: trap the MC in a spiral of events outside their control; move the original goal out of their reach; provide new complications and goals; force a decision that moves the MC to attack mode.
Hone your ending: make that MC come to know themselves better; stretch their resolve and revive them at the last moment; have them rise to the challenge, a real hero, but in a unique way suited to their gifts; bring that protagonist-antagonist battle to an end; let the MC reach their (amended) goals.
End the whole thing with a memorable line.
Include humor, relationship, and action.
Consider framing, foreshadowing, and outlining backwards from events.
Eliminate unnecessary scenes and combine scenes.
[Note where you have pre-written scenes or partials.]
Abbreviated Outline.
Make a short outline with bullet points and pertinent info. [This is great for writing your synopsis later.]
Divide into chapter and scene breaks, keeping readers asking “what next?” (p166-167 for how to do this).
Note where you will want to quicken pace and where to slow it, using sentence form, etc.
Cut the transitions and other “fat.”
Write the Story.
Write forward.
Keep the long and short outline handy. [I like to use sprints, word-count goals, and sometimes remove myself to a public location.]

“Our subconscious …. Feeds our brains with images, sounds, smells, tastes, and feelings, which our conscious brans translate into words” (p55).

“As much as we want readers to intellectually appreciate our writing, we need them, even more, to react with utter, unthinking emotion to the underlying pull of the story and its characters” (p66).

“Few skills are inherent to the writing life. Most are learned along the way, as they become necessary. But the one absolutely necessary trait is an unabated sense of curiosity” (p69).

“Readers want to understand this person by seeing what he does. Often, however, it’s what a character wants to do that matters even more” (pp75-76).

“…what we find at the core of a story is the main character’s desire for something” (p78).

“One of the easiest ways to raise the stakes is to create a tight timeline for your story” (p84).

“Before you can tell others your story, you have to tell yourself its prequel” (p100).

“The backstory of your novel is necessarily the composite backstory of all your characters” (p103).

“…this kind of in-depth background information provides an incredibly strong foundation. And the bits of backstory that do make an appearance will add extra sparkle…” (p107).

“Outline in the way most natural to you and your characters and your story, and even allow it to change from book to book if needed” (p124).

“Writing is way of organizing experience, or of organizing something imagined, of making something perfect and beautiful—even something as small as one sentence—in a world that can be, at times chaotic, wretched, ugly, and upsetting” (Patricia Highsmith, p137).

“…ask yourself to imagine the one story, essay, poem or book that you’d most like to read. Then write it” (Scott Edelstein, p142).

“The outline is the tool of the responsible author who understands that story is as much about structure as it is about inspiration” (p176).

“Scene breaks are do-or-die territory for novelists …. If your chapter and scene endings leave readers no reason to turn the page and find out what happens next, all your hard work on the other aspects of your story will be wasted” (p165).

Profile Image for John.
21 reviews
August 12, 2021
I'll start my review by saying this. Read everything that KM Welland has written about fiction writing. Also read at least one of her novels. (If you read one of her novels alongside one of her books on outlining, you'll probably get much better idea about what she is talking about. I read this book and nonwork book on outlining a couple of times and it took me three reads to understand all the valuable insights. Now I really think I can properly understand and apply Welland's excellent methods. One of the differences in my understanding came because this time I read one of her works of fiction while I was reading this and the other book. This was helpful because she talks a lot about how she developed this method while trying to develop an outline method for herself. Now that I understand her outlining method I could see it applied to her novels. Also now that I have read her novels I understand her outlining method better.
This is the best book on novel or long work outlining I have read. I have read many because I have struggled to develop and outlining method for myself. I started out as a pantzer. I have an advanced degree in creative writing but believe it or not I was never taught outlining or even structure much. (I have no idea why) I love Pantzing don't get me wrong. But I recently realized I have never finished the first draft of one complete long manuscript by Pantzing. Because somewhere along the way all of my creative ideas confuse me. I lose the path through the forest of the story, because I have written a bunch of scenes without planning them and now don't know which way to turn. There are so many beautiful trees to look at that I can't see the forest and I will never get out all the tall green maze. I decided that if I ever want to finish and publish one full novel in my lifetime I better learn some outlining method. I read the "textbook" version of this book, many years ago, and put it down because I was too confused. Looking back on it. I think, in part, that I just didn't know enough about fiction writing when I picked up that book and this book and I also don't think I have enough experience writing things. Certainly I didn't have enough experience trying to write long stories. Fiction writing class if you want, and I would advise that everyone do that at least once or twice, but I now understand that when it comes to writing fiction, or writing in general, there is no substitute for the doing. Now that I have much more experience with the doing part of it, most of the things that confused me in what Welland talks about are now very much clearer. As I said KM Welland is one of the best fiction writing mentors out there. Novice fiction writers should read everything that she has written on fiction writing, and alongside of that read at least one of her novels. (Just in general, when you read a famous author's book on fiction writing is very helpful to read one of that office novels at the same time. It really is amazing the insights to the technique you get things side-by-side. Especially if they refer to the novel you're reading in their book on fiction writing. Also, if an author writes about fiction writing and uses certain well-known novels or movies as examples is helpful to have those novels handy while reading their books. Welland even suggests this as if she was talking to a completely novice fiction writer. Do what she suggests it is helpful. In the beginning of this book and the accompanying "textbook" Welland gives you a list of five or six books and movies she will cite, and "suggests" that you look at or read them first. Do it! Then her points will become crystal clear.
This book I think is better than the textbook earlier, because Welland spends no time in this book trying to explain why outlining is useful. There's a lot of pages in the textbook or manual version devoted to justifying outlining. There are also a lot of interesting but extraneous interviews with famous authors about their outlining process. As I said in another review, if your pantzer or she don't know how to outline and you're reading this book it is because you know you need to learn to outline you don't need to waste time reading justifications for your purchase decision.
The sections of this book are also arranged a little differently. The sections and exercises are arranged in accordance to how Welland's method is set out at how she uses it for herself. This makes the most sense. In the manual or textbook version of this book she lays the sections out differently because she is explaining stuff more. However, I think because in the manual or textbook they are not laid out in the same way that they are used it is confusing.
Also, this book although her recent book was written before everybody used computers to do most of the writing. This workbook is really intended for an audience of writers that does things long hand, as KM Welland still does. She only types or word processes her first full draft. This book is intended to be written in longhand. But if you buy the Kindle version can't do that. And if you do that, which might be a good idea, for the first book use it with, you would have to buy a new hard copy for everything in this book. A drawback is that it is hard to use this book you have to do all the exercises on a blank word processor page. However, carrying as Welland is, she has developed a relatively inexpensive piece of software that follows this books format. So for those of us who use a computer for everything, because we have to, KM Welland has saved us. :-) If you read this book I really like KM Welland's method, I would seriously suggest you at least check out the software. It looks good and is relatively inexpensive, slightly cheaper than scrivener, which a lot of us love. :-) The software follows the same layout as the book, and using it also makes this book easier to understand. You can actually write a real novel outline as to read this book. One other note, which I should've said before. Sorry. You don't need to use all the techniques that Welland teaches in this book or do all of the exercises. My own opinion is that if you did, it would take too long to be way too much and some of it would be redundant. However what you should do is pick one method that you are going to use for your outline each of the sections of an outline that Welland discusses, pick one method and do one exercise for each section to make sure that you understand and can apply it properly.
Okay, I will say again read this book or the textbook/manual that came before it and read everything that KM Welland has written about fiction writing. Because she is one of the best, certainly among my top two fiction writing mentors out there. This is a MUST READ for any novice fiction writer who wants to write long work, like a novel or novella.
Profile Image for Elle.
210 reviews10 followers
May 14, 2016
The companion to Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success, which I recently read and reviewed about a month ago. The workbook is definitely the better resource for writers, full of exercises, examples, and activities. Some of the same tools from the non-workbook are included, but updated and with follow-up exercises to improve upon them. Your mileage may vary with the exercises, but I found most of them useful and its well worth trying them all to work out what does and doesn't work for you.

My main criticism of the previous book was that it spent too much time trying to convince readers that outlining was useful/necessary. Thankfully the workbook finally assumes you haven't paid money for something you don't want to do and is minor theory, heavy on practical work, and no convincing necessary.

If you still find yourself curious about the theory behind the exercises, you might reference the previous non-workbook, but overall I think only this one is needed. Most of theory can also be found on the author's website (if the chapter introductions don't explain things to your satisfaction).

Overall, I would rate this 3.5 stars (or perhaps drop the previous book to 2.5 stars by comparison).

... And now to work my way through the author's books on structure and characters.
Profile Image for Geoff Elliott.
29 reviews
October 8, 2016
I read Outlining Your Novel and liked it enough I decided to read the Workbook. I'm glad I did!

As the name says this is a workbook. It takes the processes from Outlining Your Novel and allows you to use the book to work through the process without all the explanations in the original book. While I think to two books work well together because of the amount of background provided in the book, you could probably get by with just the workbook. You'd be losing the background and author insights but if you're comfortable in the outlining process this would help you streamline the process.

I liked the more condensed version of the workbook as it made it much easier to make the process move along. There are a lot of questions in each section that allow you drill down to the bedrock of your project and understand it better. It brings out small, fine details that you might overlook without all the prep work. As KM says, it's easier to fix issues in an outline than after having written 20,000 words and discovering you're at a dead end.

If you're a plotter or want to be one, the Workbook will help you to nail it and expand your ideas into a more detailed, idea filled outline.
Profile Image for Cate.
270 reviews4 followers
May 3, 2021
An excellent guide to outlining a novel. I read Ms. Weiland's Outlining Your Novel a year ago, and I love her prewriting process. I tried this book out on a WIP of mine, and I feel much more confident about writing my novel now! Here are the parts I enjoyed.
-The "What If?" section. This really challenged me to think about plot twists, plot points, and other plot-related things. I came up with a lot of cool subplots and a villain via this method.
-The character profile section. I love creating characters, so this was a lot of fun to do.
-The storyworld section. And I also love worldbuilding, so this was also enjoyable.

Recommended for all writers, but especially especially for pantsers. This book also helped me (a former pantser) see the beauty of outlining.
Profile Image for Olivia.
674 reviews105 followers
October 4, 2016
I used about half of this to outline a novel, but for me it got just a little tedious so I glanced through the rest to get an idea what else the author had to say. Some of it is quite interesting and I'm all for outlining. I just thought some of the stuff seems somewhat odd to do for story outline (a.k.a. finding music for each part of your story and character).

I personally preferred Outlining Your Novel, rather than the workbook. The first book gives you some ideas but leaves more room to allow yourself to outline as you feel best. I still plan to reference this workbook because I like some of the questions throughout it.

*I received this in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Mary Latela.
53 reviews2 followers
March 15, 2015
K.M. comes through with an excellent resource for planning book writing. In clear terms, with solid samples, and exceptional enthusiasm, she has provided a workbook with rich and fascinating, as well as practical advice. I rushed through first, and now will take my time using the exercises as I work on a book project. Highly recommended. @LatelaMary
Profile Image for Monica T. Rodriguez.
Author 1 book28 followers
August 19, 2015
This is a great resource for a writer who wants to firm up their ideas for a novel. Helps you develop characters and define the major points in your story. Clear examples, and the questions at the end of each chapter give a clear road map for what you need to do. Highly recommend this workbook and the companion book!
Profile Image for Brian L. Knack.
Author 15 books10 followers
March 27, 2018
This workbook has helped me improve my writing 1,000 percent. I'm what we call a panster; I write by the seat of my pants. This book has helped me bring some order to my work. I still write by the seat of my pants but now I have a somewhat ordered plan to work from.

Great book for anyone who has trouble organizing their ideas and bringing their thoughts into their fullest possible story Idea!
Profile Image for Sarah Rhea Werner.
114 reviews118 followers
November 15, 2020
AWESOME! I loved the practical advice and followed along with every step. In the end, I had a premise, log line, list of characters, and plot outline -- and tons of new ideas I wouldn't have had otherwise. Great resource.
Profile Image for Shannon.
153 reviews9 followers
January 29, 2021
I might not use every feature in this outlining plan like I've tried the "what if"/"what is expected/unexpected" and so on but without context those questions alone don't get my juices going. Instead, I take the concepts slightly differently and find if I actually answer the questions as they're asked I get much more out of them. However, there is a lot of worth-while thinking within this generic outline. I've recently reread K.M. Weiland's how to plot workbook and I think this book is a "before" plan and her how to plot is more advanced thinking in your story writing process. you don't have to read one to understand the other. This book does quickly go over the same plot points as the plot your novel book goes (the second one just goes into more questions).

If you're new to outlining and struggling with your story's main concept I'd read this book. But it didn't seem to have the same amount of questions per section as I liked in the other book by Weiland that I mentioned but it's a good place to start your outlining.
Profile Image for Cassandra Lee Yieng.
Author 2 books3 followers
December 15, 2022
This is a comprehensive workbook. The in-depth questions are more than enough to flesh out the story and they help in getting essential information from the characters, setting and plot of a novel idea.

My personal experience:

I tried to complete the workbook linearly to flesh out my novel’s outline but got stuck at the log line because I had an inanimate character in mind, but not what challenges it faced or its antagonist. There I began to doubt my story idea, so I read ahead and settled down at the setting because I supposedly knew what it was. By the time I reached story structure, I couldn’t answer anything consistently. For instance, if a character’s goals and motivations are vague, it’s hard to give them a mission they must accept. I can find lots of excuses for certain characters not to accept a mission and remain out of the story. Moreover, my original setting implied stakes that were too low. That was when I realised that the exercises built upon each other. The order of the topics matters.
Profile Image for Emma England.
Author 1 book2 followers
February 9, 2020
Weiland suggests you read Outlining Your Novel (OYN) first and that is excellent advice. I tried dipping into this workbook first but it was not a good idea. Once I came back to it after reading the OYN it became much more useful.

Having said that, I think it is a workbook to skimread very quickly and then dip in and out of when you want to create character sheets, develop scenes etc. It is a shorthand for OYN. I won't need to revisit OYN because now I have the workbook. That is really the reason the workbook is only a 3-star. It is essentially a repeat of the questions in OYN with some additional questions and exercises.

For me, it's worth it as it came in a package and was good value for money but I'm not sure I'd bother if i already had OYN.

Also, it works really well on kindle because of kindle notes. I literally highlight the questions, make some notes when I can and they magically appear on my kindle page ready to copy and paste into my files. Very handy.
4 reviews
October 15, 2018
I didn't get to use the book fully because I don't have time, but I believe that I will use this much more in the future.

It is exactly what I wanted, and what I needed. I like knowing what's the next thing I'll be doing, and this makes it so much easier to develop my ideas.

The only thing I would add to the book is doing prewriting for your characters before plotting. If I don't, my outline becomes useless and turns the story into a mess.

Would I recommend this to my past self?

*I was asked to review this book and this is my honest opinion of it.
Profile Image for Kelsie.
173 reviews7 followers
March 6, 2021
I found this workbook helpful in certain areas, such as big plot points, breaking down my novel into sections, and figuring out character motives. I wonder if I would have gotten more from it if I had read the accompanying book first.

My biggest complaint is that it felt VERY repetitive. I felt I was writing down the same things over and over. Maybe it was the nature of my novel — maybe this workbook would have been more useful for a more complicated book. But I definitely got tired of repeating myself.
Profile Image for Paul.
155 reviews5 followers
November 29, 2021
Derivative review title #391

I'm not sure if these are a help or hinderance but I do know I'm terrible at preparation, and in looking into process it seems most books miss the thing I'm needing to learn.

This book is fine. It seems mostly written for those who finished writing a story and need to start a new one, rather than chaotic messes like me, but I'm not the kind to be bothered by that. I got some stuff learned, and that's always great.
2 reviews
December 15, 2021
Really helpful for new novelists

I adore K.M. Weiland. She has so much practical and insightful advice on her website that she gives away for free, but I felt this e-book took things even deeper. I started my first novel this year, and I don’t think it would have gotten past a rough outline if it weren’t for Weiland. I needed things broken down to the atom-level of HOW you outline and get started with a firm foundation, and this book gave me that.
Profile Image for Carrow Brown.
Author 8 books54 followers
December 12, 2018
This is something I would give to a new writer or someone who wants to give structuring a try. The book isn't poor or lacking, but the structure used in this is not for me. More than one time I put it down because I didn't like it, but my friend who didn't know how to outline said it helped him a lot.
Profile Image for Heather.
143 reviews
September 25, 2022
Not going to give a star rating, as it wasn't quite what I expected. I think this could be a helpful book for people who (1) are following the hero's journey and (2) don't have experience worldbuilding and character building (more of the book was dedicated to this than I expected). It did give me some food for thought in a few areas, which I appreciate.
Profile Image for sk3erkrou.
54 reviews
October 21, 2016
This book does an excellent job of what I was looking for in an outlining workbook: it helped me gather my ideas and flesh them out before beginning to write a novel. I do not think every single step in this book is needed, but they may help with another writing project down the line, so I am not going to discount them.
Profile Image for Cassidy.
Author 15 books43 followers
February 7, 2017
Loved, loved, loved this. Especially working on the premise, the scene list, the character arc and interview details, and the setting questions. This is the most outlining I've ever done. Moving on to the story structure book now.
Profile Image for Wilder.
411 reviews
December 22, 2017
This doesn't work for me as well as the Snowflake Method, but it is pretty darn amazing, and it also offers more guidance for writers who are into that sort of thing. Weiland's workbooks are, if possible, even more useful than their source material. They're a playground of inspiration.
Profile Image for Danger Prone Daphne.
112 reviews1 follower
April 13, 2018
Excellent guide!

Excellent planning guide for streamlining the novel writing process. I expect this saved me sevetsl throuogh revisions. Wont start another novel without completing this workbook first.
Profile Image for Dalletta Olena.
Author 1 book
April 24, 2018
This book was instrumental in getting me 'unstuck' in rewriting a book. It helped me better understand my characters, provided me with a solid took to kick-start my imagination. I would recommend anything by K. M Weiland.
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