Story Engineering, by Larry Brooks. This book was the missing piece for me – the wool lifted from my eyes, and I felt like I finally learned how to write. There is a method and structure to writing a novel, and he pulls back the curtain. He is a bit repetitive and tries to convince the audience over and over not to be a “pantser,” so it’s not without its faults, but for me, it was life-changing.
Helping Writers Become Authors series, by K.M. Weiland. This series took what I learned in Story Engineering to a whole new level. I have all the books and the corresponding workbooks, and have incorporated all the notes I’ve taken from both into my Scrivener novel template.
- Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success (Helping Writers Become Authors Book 1)
- Outlining Your Novel Workbook: Step-by-Step Exercises for Planning Your Best Book (Helping Writers Become Authors 2)
- Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story (Helping Writers Become Authors Book 3)
- Structuring Your Novel Workbook: Hands-On Help for Building Strong and Successful Stories (Helping Writers Become Authors Book 4)
- Conquering Writer’s Block and Summoning Inspiration: Learn to Nurture a Lifestyle of Creativity (Helping Writers Become Authors Book 5) [Disclaimer: I have not actually read this one… If anything I have an overabundance of ideas!]
- 5 Secrets of Story Structure: How to Write a Novel That Stands Out (Helping Writers Become Authors Book 6) [FREE]
- Creating Character Arcs: The Masterful Author’s Guide to Uniting Story Structure, Plot, and Character Development (Helping Writers Become Authors Book 7)
- Creating Character Arcs Workbook: The Writer’s Reference to Exceptional Character Development and Creative Writing (Helping Writers Become Authors Book 8)
- Story Engineering Template: MG Herron’s No Nonsense Novel Template for Scrivener
- K.M. Weiland’s Template: Scrivener Template for Outlining and Structuring Your Novel
Use these as a starting point. Take them, read the books, make lots of notes, and make them your own, using your own process.
If you’re interested in creating your own maps, here are a couple of resources:
- Roll for Fantasy’s Map Creator – pretty basic but entirely customizable. Also could be time consuming.
- Inkarnate (what I used to make these maps) – create a free account and get started! There is also a paid version but free is pretty great!
Organizing my ebook library (and converting to different formats): Calibre