26 First Review

Recently I have come to the realization that I am not the avid reader I use to be.  For over 3 years I have become an avid listener.   I own over 100 audio books.  I listen to Clarkesworld magazine podcast and thanks to twitter I was introduced to Podcastle.  FYI, both Clarkesworld and Podcastle are into science fiction, fantasy and speculative fiction providers.  I haven’t explored Podcastle enough to talk about it.  Clarkesworld Magazine though is different for me.  I should plan to contrast and compare at a later time. This is a review and only an opinion on how one book/audiobook worked for this writer.

Despite my growing preference for the audio book I still will buy the books, ebooks actually. I have many ebooks and audiobook counterparts.  I have this idea that sometimes a person has to see the words to understand the story better. This doesn’t always work but works more often than not.  Besides making publishers and author doubly rich, I get to highlight quotes and phrases of personal importance.


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The point of this entry is that I posted 5 pictures of how to write books with the intention of reviewing them or telling who ever reads the joexperimentblog (JoexB) if they work for me or not.  However after I did that and then fell into  the old habit of not having the energy or making the time to read.  I started to watch Knights of Sidonia on Netflix.  If you check the home page you will see that I am big fan of anime.  Sorry went a bit off track again.


outlining-your-novel-audio-book KM

Earlier this month I bought this audiobook and ebook, Outlining your Novel: map your way to success by K.M. Weiland; published by Penforasword.   I was able to finish this book within a week. I also bought the ebook and underlined some stuff.

Writing a review on the how-to book took more time than I thought it should. I kept getting distracted and worried that I would sound like an idiot.   I don’t know if I have typed this before but I have mixed feelings about reviews.  As a reader/listener I sometimes appreciate them. As a writer I feel no one has the right to judge.

The good thing about reviewing this book or the books in the plan for the JoexB is that there are no spoilers.  I am not giving any great plot twist away.  I am telling in my own words, if this book is helped me write a better novel or if I am trapped.

Outlining your novel: map your way to success by K.M. Weiland is an argument the author has with her reader/listeners to convince them that taking the time to outline their novel is a better method for creating a book than not outlining referred to in book as pantsing. The book is ten chapters of tactics with examples and ten short interviews of published authors to praise the benefits of outlining.  K.M. Weiland herself is a published author besides this book, she had produced a number of books in the historical and speculative genres.  I was impressed and interested in the bits of her stories she revealed.

A major point K.M. Weiland wanted to get across was that this was not your High School Outlining.  There is no strict, do or die structure for an outline.  She offered four free flowing types, that don’t box a writer in or stifle creativity.  Or at least that was my understanding of what she was trying to say.  She also offered tools to help with outlining some that should be known to everyone – pen and notebook, word processor etc. The new thing introduced to me was ywriter, an app created by a computer programmer and author.  It offered everything, word, excel and a notebook can’t for the writer on the verge of their great American novel.

Another nice thing she did in the book was not insult or denigrate those who believe in the pantsing method.  She just stated the consequences of pantsing as she saw them.  Which I think was nice.  There was also no this-is-the- sole authority of writing tone in the book; maybe that was because of the narrator Sonja Field.  Ms. Field was able to make me feel like we were in a conversation not just a lecture of the best way to outline. So I was impressed by that as well.  I have listened to other how to books and the narrators didn’t even sound like a person.  Ms. Field passed.

Besides outlining, K.M. Weiland offered steps on how to craft a story.  There was an in-depth or chapter long discussion on premise, story ideas and character development.  She included everything a writer would need to create a story and eventually a book worth reading.   After is this is supposed to be a map to success as well as outlining, it said so in the title.

Everything I listened to and read in Outlining your novel, made perfect sense to me.  Applying this new knowledge to new or existing works in progress will be another post.  It will definitely be a challenge.  I found something helpful in every chapter.  I also felt understood as a writer.  Which was another nice thing about this book/audio book.  I enjoyed listening and reading.   I will probably re-read or listen to it again, looking for further insights.  I do that with a number of books by other authors.  So I can’t treat this book different. So if you are interested in getting a how to on writing without it sounding like a text book or preachy.  You should invest in acquiring Outlining Your Novel.


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About J.C. Henry

I am a writer and Podcaster. Most of my stories are in the speculative fiction genre. The Red Mushroom Podcast is about writing and the writing business, is currently in development.
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