|Plotting And Editing|
|By Sherry-Anne Jacobs
(Training Publications of Western Australia - 1998)
Now available at Fiction Works.
Reviewed by Frances Grattan
|efore you start groaning Not another How-To-Write book, let me explain why this one is worth looking into.
Normally, I would be groaning along with you but I do think it is a good idea having one or two books on the technicalities of writing in your bookshelf. What little spare time I have to indulge in reading is usually spent either researching my area of expertise or relaxing with a good work of fiction. It is always useful, however, to have a book to help get you kick-started, and this is an excellent one for that.
At first I wondered why Sherry-Anne had chosen to combine together the topics of plotting and editing in a single book. From reading the book, you soon understand how the procedures are intertwined during the process of writing a novel. There are invaluable tips for the beginner author, and authors who are just not sure where to start.
Sherry-Annes attitude to writing and publishing is very matter of fact. She doesnt mince words, but at the same time, is encouraging. Additionally, the book isnt dictionary-huge so you can read it through and later use it for reference—and it is well laid out for easy reference.
For plotting, there are sections on . . .
—Starting To Plot
For editing, Sherry-Anne takes you through . . .
—Developing Editing Skills
The areas I found most useful were in the editing section, although Sherry-Anne has a check-point system for both plotting and editing that I will likely use again and again. There are definitions for the synopsis, outline, and book proposal—terms often confused by both authors and publishers alike. The section on the realities of the commercial world and estimates of word counts are areas of particular interest for those just starting out.
Overall, I would recommend this book for the beginner and intermediate writer. Sherry-Anne has superb advice on how to professionalize your novel. Read carefully—she knows what shes talking about.