Million Dollar Outlines by David Farland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I’m well aware of the irony in my writing a review of a book about outlining. Or even reading one, for that matter, since I’m pretty much an inveterate “discovery” writer (aka “pantser”). I bought a copy of this ebook to help out when the author’s son was in an accident, and I wanted to contribute to their medical costs, the state of such things for writers being generally terrible south of the border. It took me quite a while to read it because I had it on my smartphone, and read it generally in short bursts while waiting in lines and offices.
However, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that even for a non-outliner like me, this book has some solid advice to impart. As well as dealing with the nitty-gritty of novel outlining, Farland has a lot of good points to make about evaluating the character relationships in your fledgling novel, incorporating emotional “beats”, and finding ways to improve every scene. The writing is smooth and friendly, and uses many real-world examples to illustrate points. For both aspiring and intermediate authors, I highly recommend it even if you’re not a fan of outlines; you’ll likely find advice inside to help you take your writing up a notch.