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The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing

by Evan Marshall

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278669,403 (3.27)None
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.… (more)

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Marshal's book does not tell you what to write, but instead gives one a great guideline on how to organize your thoughts, chapters, events, and keep things moving. The advice inspired me, organized me, and gave me a sign ahead to keep swimming toward. Excellent book that is exactly what I've always been waiting for, it delivers all it promises, and more. Stuck? This is definately the book you need, for it is the ideal method for those who find outlines work best for them. ( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
The Marshall Plan is strongly formulaic and intended for writers of genre fiction. Neither of these is bad, although the Plan itself is more rigid than I'm comfortable with. But you could use parts of it either on their own or in combination with some other technique. For instance, I couldn't see myself plotting out an entire book start to finish with Marshall's section sheets, as the Plan would have you do, but I think they'd be good for analyzing your scenes during revision. Marshall has more on subplots and how to weave them into the main story than many how-to-write books. I thought his "NovelMaster" table, which balances the number of scenes and the number of viewpoint characters against the desired word length of the book, was interesting and spelled out something to be thought about, although again, I wouldn't feel bound to its recommendations.

The book is in five parts. The first part is about deciding what kind of book you want to write. The second part covers the Marshall Plan and is probably the heart of the book. The third, fourth, and fifth parts cover general fiction-writing skills, editing, and marketing. Other books cover these in more depth and may be more up-to-date (this book was published in 1998). But for the would-be writer who needs a concrete template to work from, that second part may be just what they're looking for. ( )
  Silvernfire | Feb 7, 2015 |
Too rigid of any outline progress for me. I like to outline, but using the headlights approach to allow for surprises. However, this book is a good read for explaining the scene and sequel relationship and some other writing tips. Highly recommended for being writers. ( )
1 vote annertan | Jul 31, 2014 |
Interesting. I don’t know if a good novel must follow the outline that Marshall gives. I’m also leary of writing books with charts, but this book did give me quite a bit to think of in regard to structuring a novel. I like the idea of plotting out a novel in advance. The novel I’ve been half-heartedly working on has a scene that I like but I don’t know how it fits into the story, because I don’t know the story. ( )
1 vote patience_grayfeather | Jun 15, 2008 |
I found this book to be completely and utterly useless. I wouldn't even burn it to prevent hypothermia for fear that the smoke would somehow damage my brain. The entire premise is that the plan basically gives you a framework into which you can stick common cliches, and this somehow turns into a completed novel. The mere idea of a book like this offends me. As if there aren't enough bad writers out there, Marshall seems determined to crank out hundreds more. ( )
1 vote JennGauthier | Apr 26, 2008 |
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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 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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