It’s essential for writers to immerse themselves both in their craft and the works of other authors. To that end, I’ll review a book to read for pleasure and a book to sharpen your writing skills every month. I hope that Read/Write will introduce you to new favorites and overlooked classics.
And Weiland did not disappoint. Structuring Your Novel zooms in from the three act structure, to scene structure, and finally down to the patterns of sentence structure. Each section is packed with useful information to help writers connect and organize their plot ideas into a coherent and compelling story.
As someone who learns by example, I appreciated Weiland’s use of popular works of film and literature like It’s A Wonderful Life, Ender’s Game, and Pride and Prejudice to illustrate her points at each step in the three act structure. Pitfalls and common structural weaknesses are identified, along with their solutions.
And while many books on writing gloss over scene structure, or limit their coverage to a simple explanation of scene and sequel, Weiland’s discussion of this aspect was particularly thorough and helpful.
In all, Structuring Your Novel is a vital resource for writers looking for a stronger understanding of the elements of powerful storytelling. I enthusiastically recommend it: five piping hot cups of coffee out of five.