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
- 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
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About 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.