Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “5 Secrets of Story Structure: How to Write a Novel That Stands Out” as Want to Read:
5 Secrets of Story Structure: How to Write a Novel That Stands Out
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

5 Secrets of Story Structure: How to Write a Novel That Stands Out

(Helping Writers Become Authors #6)

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  981 ratings  ·  194 reviews
Want to take your writing to the next level? Discover the “secrets” of story structure other authors are overlooking!

If you’ve read all the books on story structure and concluded there has to be more to it than just three acts and a couple of plot points, then you’re absolutely right! It’s time to notch up your writing education from “basic” to “black belt.” Internatio
Kindle Edition, 59 pages
Published February 4th 2016 by PenForASword Publishing
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about 5 Secrets of Story Structure, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about 5 Secrets of Story Structure

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  981 ratings  ·  194 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of 5 Secrets of Story Structure: How to Write a Novel That Stands Out
Dannii Elle
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Actual rating 4.5/5 stars.

With its small page count, this book could be devoured in under an hour. It took me two days as I found myself note taking and highlighting throughout, due to the abundance of useful knowledge packed into its pages. I have read a slew of writing guides but much of these contents were still either presented in a unique slant or were new to me entirely. Much to process here!
Kate Willis
Nov 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Story plotting is my weak area, but I've always found the whole topic daunting. No longer!

Three Reasons Every Author Should Sleep with This Book Under Their Pillow:

1. It's short! I read it in under an hour, but it's jam-packed with a ton of good stuff!
2. It's extremely clear! The whole book was one big lightbulb moment, especially because of the examples from film and literature.
3. You'll feel like Superman! There is security in knowing that I now know how to write a good story and maybe, just
Oct 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Oh, this book was SO HELPFUL. I've said that about a million times while reading it (like this: "Oh...oh...this is so helpful!" *pause while I continue reading* "Oh my goodness, I was wondering about that! So helpful!" *pause* "I This is amazingly helpful!" Etc.) the Thesaurus ran out of other words to describe its helpfulness about halfway through reading it. ;)
Also, though I've said this about as much as it being helpful, I really wish I got my hands on it sooner in my writing ca
Structured story plots have been a problem for me in the past, but I never knew what to do about it, so I just kept plugging along. Then I came across this book and will not have that problem any more.

Clarity: 1/1
K.M. Weiland always does a great job explaining things clearly and concisely. This book is no exception.

Usability: 1/1
I've already started using it. I started using the tips the day I started reading it, actually. I had just started outlining a new book and this book helped
For plotters. Repetitive.
4 stars & 4/10 hearts. I was a bit reluctant to start this book—I’d heard great things of it, but I wasn’t in the mood for an educational nonfiction. But I found this book very quick & easy to read. It took me maybe 20 minutes to get through. I knew a lot of the information already but it did give me more explanation/information & also converted the other information, all in a very clear, concise way. I definitely recommend it. 

A Favourite Quote: “It’s instructive when watching movies to observe
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is essentially a simpler version of Structuring Your Novel, with a focus on the places we most get wrong in story structure. It was a good reminder and helped me realize some new things on structure I hadn't noticed before. :)

You can download this book free on Katie's website,
Mar 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This was great. Really gets you thinking about the structure of your story! I'll definitely read this again in the future to remind me of the different points in writing a story. Structure makes a huge difference!
Prakash Sharma
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great tips on story plotting.

This is a short read of around 60 pages but very helpful book because it addressed technical issues in story writing. I think I must practice these techniques in writing my first novel.
Bethany Atazadeh
Jul 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book came at the perfect time! (I think I actually got it as a freebie a long time ago, but I rarely remember to read ebooks, so I'd forgotten I had it lol)...

I was struggling with how to re-outline my novel, and while I love the outlining structure of Save the Cat Writes a Novel, it wasn't helping me solve the plot holes and empty spaces in this latest book, so I was feeling stuck.

As I started reading this new take on outlining/story structure, it asked all the right questions and pointed
Oct 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very helpful for developing a good structure in your writings. Well-written and easy to understand.
Very helpful!! I'll definitely be checking back to things at times. :)
May 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Incredibly helpful! Would highly recommend.
Bill Tillman
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
5 Secrets of Story Structure

Gulp, with doing a review of this book I am faced with a moment of truth. Please indulge me for a bit here.
For ten years I have struggled with being a panther. The has meant that even after reading many, no most of Weiland's books I was still a pantster at heart.
This little gem has opened a whole new world to me. Plot Points, Pinch Points, Three Acts, Climax and many more buzz words must make up the author's arsenal of writing tools. This is a book that should become
Luka Onee-san
Sep 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I must admit - it was hard reading this book. Not because it is written in some weird manner but because I visualized my own book. My own book got in the way of reading this book. I got few ideas on how to end the book, how to finish forming my antagonists, where to place my main characters, what conflict and who will have. My entire book, that is just taking shape, flew before my eyes while I was reading.
So thank you K.M. Weiland. Your book was a great help.
Kellyn Roth
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book really transformed the way I look at writing, plots, outlining, and a bunch of other things. Definitely on the 'life-changing' book list for me. It was also pretty entertaining, which is something one can't say for many how-to books of any kind. ;)

~Kellyn Roth, Reveries Reviews
Kristen Kieffer
Aug 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2016
K.M. Weiland does a fantastic job of breaking down the basics of story structure in this helpful guide. I'd recommend it to any writer looking to improve the quality of their storytelling skills.
I found this book quite useful as an aid/motivator in planning my own writing, but I wouldn't recommend it as a guide to be followed closely by someone who hasn't read other works on story structure (such as Robert McKee's Story, which is much more universal and flexible in its applicability). In particular, I think it fails to make sufficiently clear that some of its terminology should be interpreted loosely or metaphorically, and that its numerical breakdown of a book's pagecount in terms of s ...more
Sarah Briel
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was fairly short but full of useful tips and knowledge.
I've heard of K.M. Weiland quite a bit and have one of her fiction books currently loaded onto my Kindle, but I haven't actually read any of her books until this one. This definitely was just as good if not better than I've heard!

This is technically a mini book that goes into more depth to be read after Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story (which I'm definitely picking up at a later point) but it work
5 Secrets of Story Structure... seriously? Why should I be reading this when I have other books to read first? People … NanoWrimo starts next month; I have to be ready!

This small book about story structuring was really helpful! I know I already structure my stories, but as the author said, we should look at it in a new light... figure out what we're missing!

There was great advise and I'd definitely go back to refer to it if needed!
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing
5 Secrets of Story Structure is a quick overview of structure followed by in-depth explanations and examples. As someone who was familiar with structure, I found this to be a great tune-up, a gift of new information, and liberating. Thank you!
Oct 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio, oct
A good story template, but too short of a book to have much in-depth advice.
Adam Collings
Sep 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
K.M. Weiland is the queen of story structure. This short volume is packed with value and is a great companion to her longer book Structuring Your Novel. This one dives deeper into the various plot points, further iluminating their power. Essential reading for anybody wanting to write fiction.
L.R. Braden
Aug 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing-craft
4.5 stars.
Since I'm about to dive into outlining my next book, I decided to get a quick refresher on story structure to help me decide the order of my plot elements. Enter, The 5 Elements of Story Structure. If you want a fast (and I mean super-fast) refresher on story structure, this is it. I sat down and read the whole book in about an hour. Despite it’s brevity, this book is full of useful insights and modern examples that make it both relevant and easy to understand. While there were no mind
Aug 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own, e-books
KM Weiland runs a super useful blog here:
This is book six in her ‘Helping Writers’ series.
She’s one of those people who shares as much information as she can. If you buy one of her ebooks there are signups and giveaways of further books in hotlinks within the pages. She also has a listing of plot structures of a number of books and movies.
She’s pretty new to plotting structure herself. And she admits it.
Structure = formula = cliché = what’s-the-point? No
Mir H. S. Quadri
Aug 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
The 10 Steps of Story Structure

Though this book is titled 5 secrets of Story Structure, it basically has list 10 steps to story structure that you could use to write your own novel.

The 10 steps given in this book are:-

1. The Hook
2. The Inciting Event
3. The Key Event
4. The first plot line

5. The first half of the second act
6. The mid point
7. The second half of the second act

8. The third plot point
9. The climax
10. The resolution

While this book d
Juneta Key
Apr 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing-craft
Short Read With A Lot Punch!

Short read but pack with pointed advice that addressed specific elements that all authors need to know. The author tells you this is a supplement to highlight specific concepts of the inciting incident in closer detail. K. M. Weiland has a story database on her website where she breaks down movies to show the story arc and this book gives a bit of inside look at her thought process in defining these elements that are used in books and movies. She helps you understand
Ahmed  Ejaz
May 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
4 / 5 Stars
I think this book isn't a total secret, But that doesn't mean this not useful. Of course, every book has it's quality.
Quality of this book is it divide the long topic like III-Act structure into simpler and easier parts.
It's an advance approach to structuring the book.

This book is perfect for those who what to know more about structure.

Hope you like my review, if don't then point out my mistakes in comment below.

NOTE: The review mentioned above is my personal feeling
T.C. Weber
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Concisely written, with clear directions on how to structure your novel correctly. IMHO, the rigidity is better suited to screenplays than novels, but all novelists should at least understand proper structure. In general, K. M. Weiland is one of my favorite craft teachers, since she sticks to the point, provides examples, and doesn't meander or repeat things unnecessarily. Check out her web site: https://www.helpingwritersbecomeautho... ...more
Steven Malone
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: on-writing
Always excellent advice for writers. Well organized and helpful.
A lot of it is standard stuff on structure but is rich in detail.
I do recommend the book for all those writers wanting to improve their stories.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Show, Don't Tell: How to write vivid descriptions, handle backstory, and describe your characters’ emotions (Writers’ Guide Series Book 3)
  • Writing A Page-Turner: Five Editing Maxims to Make Your Book Irresistible
  • 5,000 Words Per Hour: Write Faster, Write Smarter
  • Reader Magnets: Build Your Author Platform and Sell more Books on Kindle (Book Marketing for Authors 1)
  • Successful Self-Publishing: How to self-publish and market your book in ebook and print
  • The Plot Dot: An eight-step visual guide to plotting unforgettable fiction and writing a book readers love.
  • Take Off Your Pants! Outline Your Books for Faster, Better Writing
  • Write to Market: Deliver a Book that Sells (Write Faster, Write Smart, #3)
  • Save the Cat! Writes a Novel
  • Six Figure Author: Using Data to Sell Books (Write Faster, Write Smarter Book 5)
  • How to Write Dazzling Dialogue: The Fastest Way to Improve Any Manuscript
  • Write Your Novel From the Middle: A New Approach for Plotters, Pantsers and Everyone in Between
  • The Last Fifty Pages: The Art and Craft of Unforgettable Endings
  • Release Strategies: Plan your self-publishing schedule for maximum benefit (Successful Indie Author Book 2)
  • The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression
  • Kindle Bestseller Publishing: Write a Bestseller in 30 Days! (Beginner Internet Marketing Series Book 5)
  • Writing a Kindle Book a Week: How to write books for Amazon quickly on a weekly basis for improved sales and profits. How to maintain the right mindset and motivation for writing quality books fast.
  • Romancing the Beat: Story Structure for Romance Novels (How to Write Kissing Books Book 1)
See similar books…
K.M. Weiland lives in make-believe worlds, talks to imaginary friends, and survives primarily on chocolate truffles and espresso.

She is the IPPY, NIEA, and Lyra Award-winning and internationally published author of the 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 include

Other books in the series

Helping Writers Become Authors (8 books)
  • Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success
  • Outlining Your Novel Workbook: Step-by-Step Exercises for Planning Your Best Book
  • Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story
  • Structuring Your Novel Workbook: Hands-On Help for Building Strong and Successful Stories
  • Conquering Writer's Block and Summoning Inspiration: Learn to Nurture a Lifestyle of Creativity
  • Creating Character Arcs: The Masterful Author's Guide to Uniting Story Structure, Plot, and Character Development
  • Creating Character Arcs Workbook: The Writer's Reference to Exceptional Character Development and Creative Writing

News & Interviews

  Let your voice be heard! We need your help selecting the best books of the year during the 2020 Goodreads Choice Awards, our 12th annual...
86 likes · 52 comments
“First Act has mostly concerned itself with setting up your character’s Normal World” 0 likes
More quotes…