The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing

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Imagine writing with the skill of a published author, the knowledge of a seasoned editor and the savvy of a New York literary agent....you'd have all the know-how it takes to transform your story idea into a novel worthy of praise and publication.

In this unique guide, agent, editor and novelist Evan Marshall does give you everything it takes to write your novel. Drawing on his extensive experience, Marshall has perfected a simple and methodical approach to novel writing. His ...

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The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing

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Overview

Imagine writing with the skill of a published author, the knowledge of a seasoned editor and the savvy of a New York literary agent....you'd have all the know-how it takes to transform your story idea into a novel worthy of praise and publication.

In this unique guide, agent, editor and novelist Evan Marshall does give you everything it takes to write your novel. Drawing on his extensive experience, Marshall has perfected a simple and methodical approach to novel writing. His clear-cut, 16-step "Marshall Plan" breaks down the complex novel-writing process into a series of parts you put together one piece at a time. You'll have your whole story planned and plotted before you actually begin writing, so there's no chance of working yourself in a corner or making critical mistakes in pacing and plot.

In short, The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing works. Use it, and watch your story masterfully develop into a completed manuscript ready to get the full attention of readers, agents and editors alike.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Evan Marshall has the scoop on making book -- from beginning to end and everywhere in between.
Booknews
Agent, editor, and novelist Evan Marshall provides a 16-step plan for writing a publishable novel, beginning with how to decide what kind of novel to write and culminating in how to approach agents and editors. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582970622
  • Publisher: F & W Media Inc
  • Publication date: 4/28/2001
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.06 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
How the Plan Works 3
Pt. 1 Planning for Success
Step 1 Finding the Perfect Novel for You 6
Step 2 Shaping Your Story Idea 15
Step 3 Creating Your Lead 28
Step 4 Defining Your Other Characters 40
Pt. 2 Your Complete Guide to Plotting
Step 5 Getting Off to the Right Start 55
Step 6 Interweaving Story Lines 83
Step 7 Surprising the Reader 105
Step 8 Ending on All the Right Notes 112
Pt. 3 How to Write Fiction Like a Pro
Step 9 Putting It All Together 128
Step 10 Mastering the Modes I: Action, Summary, Dialogue 142
Step 11 Mastering the Modes II: Feelings/Thoughts and Background 157
Step 12 Completing a Draft 166
Pt. 4 Polishing Your Manuscript
Step 13 How to Be Your Own Editor 178
Step 14 Applying the Finishing Touches 189
Pt. 5 Marketing Your Novel
Step 15 Producing a Knockout Proposal 194
Step 16 Approaching Agents and Editors 201
Glossary 219
App A Sample Synopsis 223
Index 235
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Customer Reviews

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( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2005

    Way to go, structure!

    I have no idea what you guys are whining about...using a recipie the first time you make cookies is a good idea. Anyone who has dreamed of writing a novel, sat down at page one and never got beyond page 25 should read this book. The instructions in this book show what KIND of thing should happen when, help you weave together plot threads like a pro, even tells you how many PoVs is a good idea based on the desired length of your novel. It is in no way paint by numbers, as you still have to do most of the work - it's just a pattern. Most disgruntled 'Artists' who feel that this reduces the 'craft' to a series of equations might be surprised to see how well the 'formula' helps create a unique, well put-together novel. So shut up.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2006

    WRITING MODES STAND THE TEST OF TIME

    The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing includes plenty of practical and thought-provoking material, but there are two chapters that set this book apart from the competition./// One of the many concepts that confused me as a novice writer was the terminology used to describe different types of writing. Different books described narrative, summary, scene, exposition, dialogue, introspection, flashbacks, and recollections, but none provided a satisfactory explanation of each and how they relate to one another, especially for use by a novelist./// In chapters 10 and 11, Evan Marshall describes five writing modes: action, summary, dialogue, feelings/thoughts, and background. He defines each and outlines their uses. As soon as I read about the writing modes, I began incorporating them into my writing and into my study of writing. Years later, I still find writing modes to be insightful in concept and helpful in practical use./// Marshall¿s writing modes offer a superior model for understanding and explaining the different types of writing used to construct fiction. For me, the writing modes have stood the test of time. I continue to be amazed that more articles and books about fiction-writing don¿t incorporate them./// The chapters addressing writing modes are well worth the cost of purchasing The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2004

    Writer's Block

    This book was more of a writer's block than a writing aid for me. It takes a dry, overly formulaic approach to a creative, sometimes spontaneous process. Writing a basic outline for a book is a great idea. But the Marshall Plan takes outlining to the extreme, demanding that you plan out every scene before you even begin writing. I agree with the paint-by-numbers analogy. The Plan doesn't give a writer room to breathe and wouldn't allow a story to evolve beyond the writer's original expectations. Most writers know that your first draft or concept will not be your last, but this Plan acts as if it will be. Can you write a novel with this plan? Probably. Will your novel be GOOD? Probably not.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2003

    Leads to Schematic, Predictible Paint by #s

    I do not think this book is helpful. Your novel will be predictible, stiff, and schematic. I started writing my novel based on Marshall's plan, and I regret it. I finished the work, but wished I had read Stephen King's "On Writing" which goes against everything this Marshall guy says. Get the King book.

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    Posted March 1, 2011

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    Posted December 25, 2010

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    Posted February 27, 2012

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    Posted October 5, 2010

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    Posted March 20, 2009

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    Posted April 14, 2011

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