8.21.2010

E-book Review: The Marshall Plan®

The Marshall Plan® by Evan Marshall

When FSB reached out to me with this title, of course I was interested - as someone who has written seven NaNoWriMo novels, I'm always looking for ways to improve my craft, or to work smarter!

Luckily, this e-book reinforced that I'm on the right track when it comes to planning, plotting, and working on characters - whew!

The whole premise of this e-book is to be able to write novels in less than 30 days (yay NaNo!), and to write manuscripts faster and smarter. A lot of the information included felt like a review for me, but for a first time writer, I thought provided a great introduction to the "how to start" - it really detailed knowing your characters inside and out, how to deal with secondary plots, narrative voice and lots of great tips for when the novel is finished, which I appreciated. As I read it, I definitely picked up a nugget or two along the way!

Along with a review of this helpful guide, I was also given the opportunity to noodle around with the accompanying Marshall Plan® software (the guide and software can be purchased as a bundle for $149 via their website). The software provides templates for the writer to plug in everything needed for the story - details of the character, conflict, setting and so forth. Honestly, I found the appearance a bit rudimentary and the navigation a bit clunky and overwhelming, especially if a new writer thinks this is going to "write the novel for you". I can see how it would be of use to new readers and writers, but it wasn't as useful to me - I must be to ingrained in my own methods! :-)

I'm not familiar with other items on the market like this, though, so I think it could be a popular and useful product for newbie writers - it just wasn't quite the "lightning strike" I was looking for, though. I'm a bit more fluid in writing, but structure can be good for writers too!

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