The 12 Key Pillars of Novel Construction: Your Blueprint for Building a Strong Story by C.S. Lakin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I’m always looking for a good book to help me with my novel construction. The 12 Key Pillars of Novel Construction delivers. The author explains the concepts quite well, and I even learned something new (which doesn’t often happen). The first four pillars are pretty basic, and there is some repetition (in titles, in transitions from one section to another, and in basic information at times). But they’re good to go over if you want a solid story foundation.
The last pillars were the most interesting, talking about theme (the heart of your story) and motif (recurring symbolism within the story). Theme gets less and less elusive the more I read about it, and Lakin’s explanation was as good as any I’ve heard. The motif pillar blew my mind, and I’ve latched onto that idea quite enthusiastically.
I also love that there are links to checklists, so when you get done with the book, you have a distilled version of the information for checking against your story structure. Only thing that would have made that better is having a page where you can download everything, since I read it on my Kindle and didn’t want to use the experimental browser for all those goodies.
The 12 Key Pillars of Novel Construction is a solid read for anyone looking to widen their understanding of how to compile the components of your story into a cohesive unit. **This is not a book on the particulars of plot structure. If you’re looking for that, I recommend Monica Leonelle‘s Nail Your Story: Add Tension, Build Emotion, and Keep Your Readers Addicted (see my review here) or K.M. Weiland‘s Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story (see my review here).