From First Draft To Finished Novel: A Writer's Guide To Cohesive Story Building

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Overview


Build a fully developed, multi-layered story from the ground up!

Writing a story is not that much different than building a house. Both require some brainstorming (to provide a clear vision), a blueprint or outline (to lay a solid foundation upon which that vision can be built), building or drafting (to make the vision a reality), and decorating or revising (to polish the masterpiece and make it presentable to the public).

In From First Draft ...

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Overview


Build a fully developed, multi-layered story from the ground up!

Writing a story is not that much different than building a house. Both require some brainstorming (to provide a clear vision), a blueprint or outline (to lay a solid foundation upon which that vision can be built), building or drafting (to make the vision a reality), and decorating or revising (to polish the masterpiece and make it presentable to the public).

In From First Draft to Finished Novel, novelist Karen S. Wiesner carefully explores each of these stages, showing you how to:

  • Create a quick outline to help organize and expand your original idea
  • Develop a detailed Story Plan Checklist to solidify your story's details
  • Combine and effectively use tools like your outline and story checklist to weave together a cohesive draft
  • Put together a strong query letter and submission package
This book also features exclusive worksheets, checklists, and detailed examples designed to help you:
  • Improve your outlining techniques through the use of character, plot, and setting sketches
  • Write a strong Story Plan Checklist that ensures your characters evolve and your plot progresses
  • Develop your editing skills using revision and "punch" checklists
Whether you're working on a new story or a project in development, From First Draft to Finished Novel is your blueprint to a story readers won't be able to resist.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582975511
  • Publisher: F+W Media, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/15/2008
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author


Karen Wiesner is the author of the best-selling First Draft in 30 Days, as well as more than forty novels and has been named a leading romance writer by The Writer Magazine. She is author of the Gypsy Road Series, the Angelfire trilogy, Dare to Love series, and the Wounded Warriors series.
www.karenwiesner.com
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Table of Contents

Introduction Principles of Building a Cohesive Story

The Essential Process of Layering 1

Layering to Gain Cohesion 3

How to Use This Book 5

Getting Started 8

Layer I: Planning for and Laying a Foundation

Stage 1: Brainstorming 9

Stage 2: Researching 11

Stage 3: Story Blueprinting 12

Stage 4: Setting the Story Blueprint Aside 23

Layer II, Part A: Building on the Foundation

Stage 1: Building a Cohesive Story With a Story Plan Checklist 24

Stage 2: Evaluating the Blueprint 84

Layer II, Part B: Strengthening the Foundation

Stage 3: Writing the First Draft 85

Stage 4: Creating a Punch List 103

Layer III: Decorating

Stage 1: Revising 107

Stage 2: Involving Critique Partners 109

Stage 3: Setting the Final Draft Aside 109

Stage 4: Final Editing and Polishing 110

Layer IV: Preparing a Proposal

The Query Letter 128

The Synopsis 132

The Partial 135

Putting the Proposal Together 136

Epilogue: The Cohesive Story 140

App. A Glossary of Terms 142

App. B Story Plan Checklist Exercises 147

App. C Editing and Polishing Exercises 174

App. D Story Plan Checklist Examples

Example 1: I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson 180

Example 2: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by J. K. Rowling 184

Example 3: Scared to Death, by Debby Giusti 197

Example 4: The Friday Night Knitting Club, by Kate Jacobs 207

App. E Outlining Worksheets

Worksheet 1: Character Sketch 216

Worksheet 2: General Setting Sketch 220

Worksheet 3: Character Setting Sketch 221

Worksheet 4: Plot Sketch 223

Worksheet 5: Formatted Outline Capsule 228

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 24, 2009

    Good for writers? Helpful, yet confusing

    The book has proved useful for me, a new writer, but is still confusing. Many allusions are made to books that are meant to parrallel this book, which makes some of the tips very vague and confusing. The actual 'reading' part is slow paced, but still helpful. The worksheets that are included are really good exercises for organizing your thoughts, which is really helpful when writing a story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent Knowledge, Shaky Clarity Sometimes

    I gave this how-to book about writing 4 out 5 stars because it fails to mention that you should have already read Wiesner's First Draft in 30 Days, as the writing outline she teaches you how to organize and use is in fact only thoroughly explained in that previous book. Essentially, First Draft to Finished Novel piggy-backs off of what you are taught in First Draft in 30 Days, which is not a bad thing. But it can be inconvenient when the author says things like "now we'll use the outline you created using my method in First Draft in 30 Days" and "by now you should be familiar with..." when you do not own the book to which she is referring. This book is a wealth of spot-on material, no doubt, but if you haven't read First Draft in 30 Days, you could find yourself lost or frustrated for the first few chapters. But please understand this is one author's method for writing, it may not work for you. If it doesn't that just means you need a different approach, it does not mean that her method is terrible.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Recommend for aspiring writers

    If your mind is as chaotic as mine is and is preventing you from even starting to write, then this book will be most helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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