Top critical review
lots of good advice...scatter brained a bit
Reviewed in the United States on January 20, 2013
I bought this book hoping to find a way to sort out everything I would need to think of, know, remember, and decide for my novel. This book helped me basically think of more to think of. I think the method kind of matches my study habits already: suggesting I write everything in the brainstorming/planning stages, then condense into a typed version after reviewing and editing. But I still can't conceive of how you can write out long-hand all your rants and thoughts in a logical order and still have room to "flesh out" the areas you were originally vague with. It seems like it will end up messy, and I was hoping this book would give me more specific advice on how to have a clean planning process.
The first two chapters seemed to be rambling. I don't need to know why outlines are good. I want to know how to make a good one. The final chapter also was stating the obvious. When the book got to writing general sketches is when I thought it got down to business, but then it seemed to get disorganized on the "key story factors" and from that point on, seemed to just be stating things you should consider and sort out in the planning of your book, rather than giving you advice on a logical order to arrange things. Some of the early steps in the book seemed that they should have been stated later. Ex. Ask all the what-ifs you can about your character/plots... I feel like I need to know more of what I want to do with my character/plot before I start exploring all the other possibilities. I wonder if that should come after the general sketch...(One way or another its good advice to consider using wherever you think it belongs). All of it was good to hear, and I'm glad I bout the book, but I would have liked better structure in the way it was presented.
The author provided a variety of examples & even gave examples of how he had done parts of his outlining. I think this book provides nice aid for a writer working on a novel, but not solid enough to jump in.