The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing: A 16 step program gaurenteed to take you from idea to completed manuscript by Evan Marshall Book and Computer Software Review


Book: The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing: A 16 set program gaurenteed to take you from idea to completed manuscrip

Computer Software: Novel Writing Software–The Marshall Plan

Review by: dancingonrain

This book is exactly as its title suggests.  I read it once a few years ago and then again last month.  It’s still as useful as it was the first time I read it.  The author is a publisher so not only do you get advice on how to writer your book, you also get some advice about how to go about finding publishers and editors and what they usually do and do not look for in a book.  The book not only has good information, but it also has blank worksheets so that you can photocopy as many as you like to help you plan your novel.  The Marshall Plan has other books including a workbook (where it has more worksheets than the previous book listed) and another book more specific to getting published.

These books are great tools to help you out, but there is also a newer The Marshall Plan computer software you can download.  It’s basically the same thing.  The books have a little more detail in them, but the computer program has set up all the worksheets for you in an organized fashion so if you prefer to have that instead of millions of worksheet papers flying around on your desk, this program can help you keep everything a little organized.  The downloadable program does cost money, but I’ve been using it for a few weeks now and think it’s worth it.  The program is more to help you plan out your novel rather than to write it.  You’d probably use microsoft word to actually write the novel, but the program has helped me organize my characters and ideas better.  You choose a word count, a “suppose,” and then the program will structure the layout for you so you don’t have to.  It does give you room to do your own structuring and point of view character uses towards the end of the beginning, the entire middle, and the end of the end so you’re not completely tied to one way of outlining the entire time.  I’ve actually found this program more helpful, especially for longer works, than Scrivener, but both programs still have their uses.

Either way, if you’re an aspiring author or writer of any kind, I would highly recommend both the books and the program.  😀  !



Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson Book Review

Review by: dancingonrain


The main story begins with two Idrian Princesses, Vivenna and Siri.  Originally Vivenna was supposed to travel to Hallandren and wed the God King as a peace treaty between their two nations, but their father sent Siri instead.  Siri is supposed to produce an heir for Hallandren as part of that treaty, but how can she when she’s not allowed to speak or look at the God King?  And he seems to want to do nothing but sit in the same room with her and just watch her?

Vivenna travels to Hallandren in hopes to rescue her sister from that fate.  Along the way she meets the mercenaries Denth, Tonk-Fah, and Jewels and her Lifeless, Clod.

But things do not appear to be what they seem.  For both girls.  When Vivenna meets a mysterious man known currently as Vasher, (he’s used many names in the past) she begins to question everything she once knew.

And as for Siri, things change for her in a big way when she discovers a secret about the God King that not only a select few know and that is also something she was never supposed to find out.

This book was great!  While it did start off a little slow for me, once the story picked up, it really picked up.  There was lots of action.  This is not to say that there were non-stop battles, but more that there was always something happening to move the plot/story forward.  While you may not have been aware of it in the earlier parts, as the story progressed closer to the end, everything started to fall in place .  At some parts you told yourself that “that makes sense and why didn’t I realized that sooner.”  You always had a feeling that something was off, but you couldn’t quite put your tongue on it.  This is especially true when we discover something tragic about the God King and it changes our perception of him.

I love the stories where you head into them thinking you’re going to enjoy one point of view character the most and be annoyed with another, but then as you progress through the book, the opinions you originally thought you were going to have ended up being the exact opposite.  I went into this story thinking I wasn’t going to be all that invested in Siri and much more invested in Vivenna, which, in the end, was not true.  I definitely enjoyed reading about Siri more than Vivenna.  This is not to say that I didn’t like Vivenna, just that I liked Siri more.  And, of course, I liked Vasher from the beginning.  From the first scene he’s presented in, I wanted to know more about him, the kind of world this was, this interesting thing known as Breaths, and his mysterious talking sword, Nightblood.

I would have to say that overall I enjoyed this book.  I liked this one, Warbreaker, more than Elantris, but less than the Mistborn series.

Either way, if you’re looking for a stand alone novel and like epic fantasy, try this book.  😀