Published: 2010, ebook
Source: FSB Associates/Anna Suknov
Synopsis from FSB:
The Marshall Plan® -- a structured approach to writing fiction and narrative nonfiction.
Combining more than 60 years of experience as authors, editors and literary agents, Evan and Martha created innovative resources for writers that break down each writing project into its core components, making the writing process manageable. They also provide refinements which include tightly focused topics, highly differentiated formats, and the skillful use of narrative fiction techniques and narrative nonfiction writing modes.
The plan addresses the technical and creative aspects of writing a novel. First, you need to figure out what kind of genre you will most likely succeed in. Then you need to decide how long the novel will be. Armed with this information and a list of characters, the process then breaks the novel into the appropriate number of sections, basically action units.
Depending on the length of the intended novel, the plan recommends anywhere from 40 to 120 sections. When using The Marshall Plan ® Software producing these sections is literally a fill in the blank process. The software contains all of the sheets detailed in the book, from character backgrounds to section sheets. The software also has instructions and advice on things to consider as you work on the programs tabs, basically a condensed version of the topic covered in the e-book. After you have gone through the plan and filled out the appropriate number of section sheets you will have a detailed plot outline to write your novel.
As a short story writer I have to admit I am intimidated by the process of writing a novel. Keeping track of plot twists, subplots and a cast of characters for over 50,000 words is a task I am honestly afraid to tackle. Do I think this plan will work? Yes. Do I think it is for everyone? No.
The author has had many years of experience in the publishing industry. He knows what “works” in novels and used that knowledge to formulate this book and software. If you want to write a novel, that has a good chance of being published, I think following the guidelines in the plan will give you a nice advantage. After all of the sections are completed a very detailed outline is produced. Plotting out all of the twists and subplots will definitely speed up the writing process for beginning and experienced writers. The outline should also navigate around the dreaded writer’s block since you will know exactly what your characters need to do and where your plot and subplots are going.
If you are the type of writer that likes to sit down, start writing and see where you go, the detailed outlining prescribed by this plan may not appeal to you. Of course, you can use your wandering mind in the planning process and the advantage is that you will know when a subplot or scene isn’t working before you waste hours and words writing it. Also, I think the worksheets are useful for any writer. If plotting by the seat of your pants isn’t working well, I don’t think it can hurt to try planning and pre-plotting. If you are serious about writing a novel, but don’t know where to start, The Marshall Plan® may be the push you need by taking some of the mystery out of the process.
** Thank you so much for reviewing this Janel. You're input has been invaluable.