Friday, November 12, 2010

Book Review:Successful Novel Plotting by Jean Saunders

Successful Novel Plotting by Jean Saunders
198 x 129 mm
160 pages
$A 19.99
ISBN 978 1 906373 62 7

Available October 2010.

Quite simply excellent - read, enjoy and be inspired." Writers Bulletin
"This is for anyone who wants to approach the plotting business sensibly." Writing Magazine

What is it about a good book that hooks the reader and makes them want more? A good plot. Every best-selling author from Agatha Christie to Terry Pratchett knows the importance of a strong story. But for the budding author it can be daunting and even confusing. How do you turn that seed of an idea into a great epic? This authoritative guide will help steer new writers through the minefield of the writing process. Using examples from her own work, and that of other top authors, Jean explains how to create memorable characters, generate cliff-hangers and keep up a pace that will hook readers. And when you've done that, she even gives advice on how to work with publishers and editors to make your novel a best seller.
About the Author - Jean Saunders
Jean Saunders is an award-winning author of more than 600 short stories and 100 novels from contemporary fiction and historical romance to crime and erotica. She's best-known worldwide as Rowena Summers, the writer of many novels based in the West Country, and Rachel Moore, author of wartime sagas set in Cornwall. Her WW1 saga Bannister Girls was short-listed for the Romantic Novel of the Year award. A former chairman of the Romantic Novelists Association, Jean now lectures on writing and writes a monthly column for Writing Magazine. Successful Novel Plotting is the most recent in her series of how-to guide books for writers.


Any author that has published over 100 novels and 600 short stories must know something about what editors and readers want, even if I’ve never heard of Jean Saunders before. Now that I’ve read her “How To” book, I’m going to have to pick up a couple of her books to see how she applies these principles herself.

Saunder’s style of writing flows quite well, with each chapter being easy to read and understand in a short period of time. This is a great tool for the new or aspiring writer to digest before embarking on the long and lonely journey of finishing their first book.

The book is broken into 10 chapters; Introduction, First Thoughts, Where Do the Characters Come In?, Synopsis and Plot – Creative Partners, Thinking Logically, The Chain Reaction, Breaking Down the Epic Plan, Sustaining the Pace, Dissecting the Novel and Thinking Commercially.

Scattered throughout the book are a multitude of great examples to help the reader understand how to apply the principles Saunder’s discusses.

I would recommend this text to someone starting out in the writing industry, or making the transition from a short story writer to a novel writer.

No comments: