Thursday, July 24, 2008

'The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing' By Evan Marshall -- Review

So as I said I would, here is a review for the latest reference book that I've read. Before I got this book, I of course read all the reviews on it that I could find, and although I read a lot that were very positive, I also read a lot that said this structure was very rigid and stifling, so I was a bit worried after I ordered it in. However, I feel that it really was worth the money that I spent on it.

The book is broken down into sixteen very easy steps. It starts out determining genre and then idea, moves into the lead character, romantic involvement and the lead character's confident. After fleshing out characters, the book moves onto the steps involving plotting. Marshall uses 'Sections' to make up his novel. The amount of sections used for each the beginning, middle and end are calculated through a table. How to plan and write these action and reaction sections come next, including how to connect them into one.

The book also gives valuable information on how to create a professional looking manuscript, a title page, synopsis and query letter as well as information about agents and how to find one. I loved the overall structure of this novel and the way it gave information in a clear and easy to understand way.

I have definitely seen a change in my writing since reading this book. I have been able to look at my writing and see some of the things that have been making it drag a little. Though it may not be for everyone, I recommend it to anyone who is interesting, there is a lot that can be learned from this book (such as editing, etc), even if you don't follow the structure that Marshall sets up. I found it very helpful and it will definitely be one of the top reference books on my shelf (right beside Techniques for the Selling Writer by Dwight Swain and Self editing for writers by Renni Browne and Dave King)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Surprise Scene . . .

I couldn't sleep last night, and so I found myself on my Mother's computer... For some reason I opened up a new document and just started typing. Now I have the first scene of a book. I have no idea who the characters in it are, no Idea what its about. I just know that one of them is on a mission and the other is not human. But it has intrigued me so I printed it off and stored it away, ready to use when I have the time to write something.

I now have 79, 000 words in Beneath Ice. Won't be long and I'll be finished my biggest project. I see this piece more of a practice then anything else, but maybe one day I will try to get it into print.

I was looking for PDAs this morning. I found the one I want. It's the AT&T Tilt. It looks very good and I'm getting quite excited for it.

Also I'm almost finished reading 'The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing' by Even Marshall. I'm up to the second last step. So far so good, I'm really getting a lot out of it for my writing, I've noted the significant improvement in my current WIP. Once I'm through with it I might put up a review, but I definitely recommend it for writers. You don't have to follow the way he does things, but there is a ton of really great information in it. Such as whilst in the editing stage, scene structure, connecters for scenes, chapter breaks and the things that I find the most handy; a synopsis, query letter, professional manuscript layout including the title page, etc... It really is very good, and I used the formats to help me create a manuscript for the two Short Stories I sent away, I can honestly say that they are looking far more professional now!

On an ending note, my 2YN is going along fabulously. I have so many scenes, right now I'm at 56, but I have planned for 136. These will of course be combined to become a lot less scenes. Though every time I think that I don't have a clue what to do next, I come up with something. This story really has me very excited!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Submission Crazy!

I sent out another short story for submission today. This time it was to Wet Ink and under the same pseudonym. This is the second story I have sent to them, the first was rejected, though this time my manuscript looks a lot more professional, and far easier to read!

Now I have two stories out!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Back in the heat of things...

I just sent another story off for submission... This time I sent it to Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, it was sent in under the Pseudonym Lyra Callaghan. It is one of the short stories that I wrote for the May story a day competition on Forward Motion, and the second story that I have submitted.

So fingers crossed!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

New Book! New Blog!

I just got off the phone to Angus and Robertson... They have my book in!! So now all I have to do is go down and get it out so that I can read it, I am so seriously excited!!!

Also, I have been fiddling around with Wordpress for a while now, and I am trying to figure out if I really want to change blogs or not. I really like the way Wordpress is set up, but I'm really not sure. I guess I'll have to mull it around in my head for a while.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Dares 1-7

For the first week, I think I've done alright

Worldbuilding = 831 words for my new fantasy, and 1501 for Beneath Ice which is a total of 2332.
I never ended up actually doing any worldbuilding save an outline for Beneath Ice, and so I've had to do a lot of worldbuilding to make up for that whilst I've been writing the actual novel. Though its not too bad that way.

Short stories = I haven't written any yet, but I plan to have one up soon

30, 000 word edit = Haven't actually started on this either, but I have goals of 15, 000 words a month, so that will balance it all out. ^_^

Also I've been pretty busy with my current word count on Beneath Ice. It's coming along very nicely, and I can't believe that I only have 35, 000 words to go on it! That seems so much more achievable now then when I first started and it was 100, 000 to go! I know that I will have this one finished in no time!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Halfway through, and Dares

In the space of four weeks, I have come to the middle of my novel, and I have no inclination to stop writing until the very end! I am so happy right now, because I have figured out that all my projects are in trouble of me giving up on them in the first 10, 000 - 20 000 words, after that I get into the swing of writing the novel and just breeze through! And next week is the start of school holidays, so I will be able to write heaps more! My goal is to get 50 000 words done in the two weeks so that I can have this finished!

And once again it is July! That means that the July/August Dare on forward motion has started. I've already signed up for;
- 4 short stories in the two months
- 8000 words worldbuilding
- 30 000 word rewrite

This will allow me to finally get Selected by the Gods edited, and also opens up a whole new WIP for me to work on once I am finished beneath ice. Though I really think that I will do the sequel to Beneath ice next (second book in the element Trilogy) get that started and then I will be able to edit Beneath Ice and hopefully send it in for submission. That would be good, though I don't think it has a very strong story line at this point in time. Once I finish Beneath Ice, and start on another WIP, this can count towards the 90 000, word count dare for the two months, but first I have to finish writing Beneath Ice, so no jumping ahead for me!