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    Great advice

    This book gets right down to business. The author points out that while the manuscripts are very different for novels, scripts and memoirs, the planning part is very similar for all three. The tone is casual but informative and the language is simple to read and easy to understand. Reading this book felt a little bit like getting a long email from a friend who has great advice. There is warmth and humour that I did not expect to find in this type of guide. I laughed at: “Your family probably thinks you are in your office playing computer games” – isn’t that the truth! Quense offers not only his method, but also the tools he uses in his writing. Written with wit and wisdom, this book covers a lot of ground. At one point, during a detailed description of creating a complex graphical representation for the overall story line, we are told, “There is another use for this graphical synopsis. If you develop one for your story, print it and hang on the wall of your office. It'll impress the hell out of visitors.” Excellent graphics give the reader examples of mind maps and charts that are useful aids for planning. Quense builds these using actual characters and works he has previously published. I enjoyed the book and I would recommend it to anyone who wants a refresher on the basics of planning longer written works or who wants to learn how for the first time.

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