Look what I got in the mail! Structuring Your Novel, another excellent manual by the remarkable Katie Weiland! And guess what?! She dedicated it to --- well, the Lord first, which makes perfect sense, but then to me! Brought tears to my eyes I tell ya.
Let me tell you--you won't find a better how-to on structuring than this one. Katie put a lot of thought into it, provided some great examples, and explained the concepts so well, even this dense-headed dame caught on. Some of what she has written is reminiscent of Larry Brooks's Story Structure Demystified, with a hint of James Scott Bell's Plot and Structure, but Katie takes you deeper into structure than these guys.
Here's a hint, taken from the back cover, of what you can discover about structuring:
- How to determine the best methods for unleashing your unique and personal vision for your story.
- How to identify common structural weaknesses and flip them around into stunning strengths.
- How to eliminate saggy middles by discovering your "centerpiece."
- Why you should NEVER include conflict on every page.
- How to discover the questions you dont want the readers asking about your plot--and then how to get them to ask the right questions.
Even seat-of-the-pants writers can't escape structure. In any form of construction, and building a book is no different, you need a foundation and you need retaining walls. Structure is the walls--it's what keeps the roof from collapsing into the room you've furnished and decorated so beautifully. A house with weak structure can be blown over by a huff and puff from the big bad wolf. Strong structure wards off winds from the wolf, and anything else that blows.
Structuring Your Novel should be on every writer's shelf.
Oh, and Thanks, Katie!!!