Mike Klaassen has written a book, Scenes and Sequels, that is fairly easy to understand and pretty useful for an aspiring writer. In it, he explains how to use scene and sequel to help craft a better novel. This information could be utilized before drafting or as an analysis tool once a first draft is complete.
In addition to the exploration of the concepts of scene and sequel, Mr. Klaassen provides several concrete examples from novels with which most readers will be familiar. He also uses a fairy tale and passages from his own writing. These help effectively illustrate the structures he is discussing. As a writer myself, I can't over stress the need for writers to first be avid readers, and his analysis helps drive home that point.
While reading this book, I was also reading Raymond Chandler’s The High Window. I found myself thinking of the novel's structure in terms of scene and sequel, and being able to see the structure in action gave me some insight into my own writing.
A lot of the work here can be found elsewhere, so if a reader has already explored this topic, he or she may not find anything new, other than the specific examples.
My biggest problem with Scenes and Sequels is the use of filler to increase word count. The author repeats a great deal of information, summarizes chapters at both the beginnings and endings, and includes a large glossary of literary terms, many of which are not applicable to the text. I would definitely feel more comfortable buying this book if the cover price were lower.
All in all, I would recommend this to an author who has yet to put pen to paper, someone who feels as if he or she has a novel inside but does not yet know how to go about organizing it. I think this book could help a writer like that hit the ground running and end up less frustrated in the long run.