Book Review: Outlining Your Novel

review-cover-outlining your novelTitle: Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success

Author: K.M. Weiland

Genre: Non-Fiction, Writing & Publishing, How-To

Rating: 3 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Writers often look upon outlines with fear and trembling. But when properly understood and correctly wielded, the outline is one of the most powerful weapons in a writer’s arsenal. Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success will help you choose the right type of outline for you, guide you in brainstorming plot ideas, aid you in discovering your characters, show you how to structure your scenes, explain how to format your finished outline, instruct you in how to use your outline when writing the first draft, reveal the benefits of outlining, and dispel the misconceptions.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I have to be honest… this book wasn’t what I expected it to be. Based on the description, I went into this book thinking this was going to help me outline, figure out how to fill in said outline, structure my scenes and plot, etc.—but that isn’t exactly what this book is. 90% of this book was a switch between author interviews where basically every author had the same response (which is fine, they all talked about outlining and why it was useful), and the actual author of the book encouraging the reader to outline. That’s fine… but you aren’t really going to pick up this book unless you’re already planning to outline… so why are you trying so hard to convince the reader that outlining is the way to go?

I expected the book to be more helpful, to help me fill out an outline and spark questions about where to go next in my outline. I was hoping for page after page of outlining advice on how to actually figure out an outline and turn it into a workable story… but there was very little of that in this. Don’t get me wrong—it was in there… sort of, but it felt more like the book was one big advertisement pushing the reader to try outlining and feel really good about that decision… and like I said, no one’s going to pick up this book if they aren’t already going to be outlining.

In the end it felt like the small percentage of the book that was actually useful was so small that it could have easily been a single blog post. The rest was just filler to bolster pages and make the reader feel good about their decision to outline… rather than being of any actual help. I gave this book three stars because it was fine. I learned a few small tidbits that will be helpful, but I also feel like I wasted my money on something I could have just Googled, and probably would have gotten more out of in the process. I’m a bit disappointed.

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Inkitt Publishing–Novel Writing Contest!

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Banner1Hey guys! Just a quick note! I’ve just heard from Inkitt Publishing that they’re running a new, FREE writing contest where the winner will win a publishing deal!

Entries must be a fiction work of at least 20k words, and the author can’t have previous works already on Inkitt. Entry must be in English, no Fanfiction, no short-story collections. All genres welcome.

I’ve had some interactions with Inkitt in the past, and I’ve got nothing but nice things to say about them. Everyone I’ve talked to from Inkitt has been so welcoming and genuinely lovely to talk to. They’ve gone out of their way to thank their reviewers (they even sent me a bag of Skittles in the mail on a whim!) So I encourage you to check them out.

I know a lot of budding authors pass by my blog, so if you’re interested, check it out by clicking the banner to the left!

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Book Review: The Busy Woman’s Guide to Writing and Finishing a Novel

review-cover-woman'sguidetowritingandfinishinganovelTitle: The Busy Woman’s Guide to Writing and Finishing a Novel: Stop Procrastinating and Get It Done

Author: Anita Evensen

Genre: Non-Fiction, How-To, Writing, Time Management

Rating: 4 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Do you want to write a book? What is keeping you from getting it done? Whether you’re busy at work, with the kids, or doing household chores, there is still enough time to write.

“The Busy Woman’s Guide to Writing and Finishing a Novel” provides you with many different suggestions. It includes real-life strategies you can implement to stop procrastinating and get that novel done.

WHY SHOULD YOU READ THIS BOOK?

Learn how to reduce the time you spend doing household chores
Find time to write even with a baby or preschooler at home
Get that novel written despite of your busy job
Try any of the 24 strategies to keep you writing
Adhere to the one tip that will change your life

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

This book would have been more aptly named: The Busy Mother’s Guide to Writing and Finishing a Novel. For what it was, the book was pretty on-point. There were tons of useful tips, motivational speeches, and advice valuable to any writer—not just women. The book was written in a very conversationalist tone—though at times it did come across as almost a little preachy. You could definitely tell the author’s views on specific subjects, and while it wasn’t too obtrusive, in the back of my head I cringed a little.

The thing that did stick out for me overall was that this book wasn’t geared so much towards women, as it was mothers specifically. There were entire chapters, and multiple references to writing while also taking care of children—and while that isn’t bad… I mean this is a book geared towards women… at the same time, I felt a little off-put by it. It felt as if the book lacked an impartial author, and even though I have a child of my own, I felt the need to skip the sections that pertained to mothering. I don’t need someone to tell me how to effectively mother. That isn’t why I picked up this book. Not every woman has children, and the amount of time spent on writing vs mothering seemed disproportionate.

That aside, the book was great. It was helpful, I felt motivated to write afterwards, and really, what more could I ask for out of a guide all about stopping procrastination?

Free Fiction Friday #14–HIJACKED by NaNoWriMo!

Dun dun dun dun! Free Fiction Friday is here! It’s the day after Halloween, and the start of NaNoWriMo, so in honor of the occasion, today we’re going to take a bit of a detour and take a look at some non-fiction and delve into Writing guides.  These aren’t free (like our usual Free Friction Friday) but, they’re all bargains. (I already did a free writing/publishing guide bunch awhile back – and the pickings are slim on those! You can check back out my previous FFF’s to find the ones that are still Free) Check these out! (all under $10, most under $5) – and go get writing!

 

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Free Fiction Friday #6

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen! It’s Friday again, and that means it’s Free Fiction Friday time! EXCEPT…. today we’re going to do something different. This is the last Friday before summer here in El Paso, TX, and in celebration of the upcoming summer (where I don’t have to walk to the local elementary school in 103 F weather), we’re going to be looking through a bit of NON-FICTION today. Today I have for you some 100% FREE writing/publishing related books. These are all 4+ Stars rated on amazon, so grab them while you can. Maybe you’ll learn something new this summer. I not only hope everyone has a great summer, but that you get your writing goals accomplished too! Goodluck you guys! ❤

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