Announcing Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story

The big day is here! Welcome to the official launch of Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story. You can purchase the book in paperback or the Kindle and Nook formats. I need your help to ensure the book has a successful launch week, so please join the party! I’m celebrating all this week, culminating in a three-tiered Grand Prize giveaway, worth $3,500! Read more about the prizes and contest rules here.

The last few years have been quite the ride for me. Professionally, I was able to claim the title of full-time writer after Outlining Your Novel went live in 2011. It held the #1 spot in the Writing Skills category in Amazon’s Kindle Store for a full year (and remains in the Top 10 even now!). That one still boggles me. I never expected the book to take off like it did, and I owe a tremendous thank you to all of you for your help in making it a success.

On a personal level, this experience led me to many new breakthroughs in my own writing life and my understanding of fiction. To begin with, it made me realize how hungry writers are for solid guidance in figuring out the writing methods and processes that work for crafting good stories in a way that is both intuitive and knowledgeable.

Second, it taught me a thing or two as well! I thought I had outlining all figured out, but I learned so much from putting together the book (and its subsequent workshop). And finally, it led me to what has so far been the single greatest series of discoveries and epiphanies in my understanding of storycraft. These “whammy moments” (as I like to call them) all boil down to one idea: story structure.

I can’t even begin to describe how excited I continue to be by the whole idea of structure.

Once you understand the common elements in all good stories, you feel as if the veil has been lifted from your eyes. You always saw the stories; you even understood them to some extent. But suddenly you’re seeing story from a whole new dimension  It’s like an X-ray machine. Where once you only saw the surface skin and hair, now you get to see the muscles and bones and beating heart that make this whole thing work.

Like most authors, I do my share of struggling with recalcitrant first drafts. Even with a solid outline, some stories just don’t want to cooperate. So I spill my quart of blood and pound of flesh, working my heart out to make it better. So many of us think that’s the only way. But it’s not!

This is where structure comes into play.

Once you understand how to structure your stories, scenes, and even sentences, you have what is, in essence, a checklist for your writing. You can check off each little piece of the mechanics and leave your heart and soul and imagination free to create your worlds of magic and wonder.

The novel I’m working on right now, a historical fantasy called Storming, has been the easiest and most fun book I’ve ever written, and I credit this almost entirely to the fact that it was the first of my books that benefited, from its very inception, from my knowledge of structure.

This is why I’m so excited to announce that my next book will be Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story.

This book will follow up Outlining Your Novel by exploring structure from the top down: story to scene to sentence. We’ve talked about many of these subjects in earlier blog posts, and I’ve had a blast digging even deeper, fleshing things out, and providing a guide to the sometimes bewildering but always insanely rewarding world of story structure.

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  1. Steve Garriott says:

    So, um, do you actually write your novels on that typewriter (I know that William Gibson did; just wondering if maybe you plan on following in his footsteps by coming out with an edgy cyberpunk novel)? 😉

    By the way, Katie, I’m enjoying your Structuring your Novel book and find that your perspective is definitely in line with the overwhelming Dramatica theory. As soon as I finish it, I’ll drop a review on Amazon.

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      Thanks, Steve! So glad you’re enjoying Structuring Your Novel. And, no, I write on a good old-fashioned wireless keyboard. The typewriter just gets to sit in the corner and look gorgeous.

  2. Wow. You had a book stay number 1 for a whole year on Kindle? How did you do that? Just curious..

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      First of all, let me just clarify again that the book was #1 in its niche (Writing Skills), not overall in the Kindle store. Primarily, I have to credit the book’s success, first, to a big launch on my part that kicked off the sales, then to Amazon’s wonderful system of in-site promotion when it recognizes that a book is doing well.

  3. Paul Griffiths says:

    Hi Katie,
    Just thought I’d drop you a quick thank you for you’re podcasts and how-to-books; they are truly inspirational.
    It’s approximately 02:50 here in the UK and I’ve been awake for the past few hours just listening to your podcasts; which I have downloaded onto this i-Pad from #1 podcast.
    Really enjoying what you have to say and look forwards to more. This is really motivating me to write as I have never had the self belief/confidence to do it before.

    Thank you

    Paul Griffiths

  4. Daryl Rothman says:

    Katie congrats on your hard work and success~

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