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The Writer's Compass: From Story Map to Finished Draft in 7 Stages
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The Writer's Compass: From Story Map to Finished Draft in 7 Stages

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  137 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
MAP OUT YOUR IDEA AND FINISH YOUR STORY IN 7 STAGES! How do you tell the story you want to tell and capture your audience s heart? Regardless of genre or format, to tell your story effectively you must fi rst sort through all the ideas you ve been toying with organize them, whip them into shape, and turn them into great writing. The Writer s Compass is here to show you the ...more
ebook, 224 pages
Published June 1st 2011 by Writers Digest Books (first published May 31st 2011)
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Aug 07, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing, 2012
If you've never heard any writing advice and have never ever read any other book on writing, you’ll find The Writer’s Compass moderately helpful. If you have read elsewhere or even so much as passed by the open door of a classroom where a writing course was being held, this book is completely worthless. Trust me: you already know more than Nancy Ellen Dodd offers. Save your money and your time.

Before I delve into my passionate dislike of this book, let me speak of the good.

The cover is awesome,
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book no doubt has a lot of valuable information. The author covers both classic and modern approaches to creative writing and provides a step-by-step formula for crafting a story.

It wasn't clear to me when purchasing this book that the writer was, predominantly, a scriptwriter. This influenced the tone of the book immensely and made the concepts less accessible/ useful to a novel writer. The first few chapters, also, were irritatingly introspective with lots of information about the author
Sep 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nancy Ellen Dodd has a wonderful approach to writing using the seven step formula in "The Writer's Compass". Her approach to writing uses an easy to follow structure with several visual cues and questions in a way that's organized and engaging - choosing to blend techniques such as mindmapping and plotting details in tables with the different facets of one's story (characterization, plot, etc.) She also gives helpful suggestions and draws from her own experience and education in the explanation ...more
Andrea Judy
Some good tidbits but it didn't seem to say anything new or helpful enough to warrant a home on my permanent bookcase.
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Especially good for those with a MS already!
Mar 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book combines the collaborative efforts of a multitude of writers and workshops dealing specifically with screenwriting. Hence, it's sort of a cliff-notes to writing your first draft, along with the elements you need to keep the re-write process going. However, it's also presented in an almost maternal, or nurturing manner to help the budding writer get through the road blocks leading to living the writers life.

I have read many screenwriting books, taken courses, and attended workshops, and
Carolyn James
Oct 25, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing
The Writer’s Compass is a comprehensive book promising to walk you through the stages of writing your novel from the first idea to sending it to a publisher. Overall there were some good parts, but it wasn’t what I was looking for. TWC asked a lot of questions to the writer to make sure you are being as comprehensive as you can be, but I wouldn’t use it to look back and forth to between every single stage of the writing process. Instead I took it as a book that offered some good tidbits of advic ...more
Jeffrey Cahhal
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book

Bought this book for her class on Writer’s Digest University, but have to say that I really enjoyed it. I did feel that some points (or steps) were a little on the brief-side, but as with most books on writing, most of it we have see and heard already elsewhere. The book is well presented and organized logically.
DH Hanni
Learned a lot of ways to help me think more about my writing especially as I get ready for NaNoWriMo. Won't know if it was useful stuff until well after but I'm feeling really confident based on what I read. This book is good for people who like a more structured approach to writing or who are desiring to become more structured and organized in their writing.
Oct 14, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have very mixed feelings about this book on the craft of writing. I love the idea of the 7 stages and the ways to diagram/pictorialize the structure of the story. But I couldn't rate it higher than just a LIKE and I'm not sure why.
Biblio Curious
A good introduction to writer's craft. It covers the basic aspects of writing fiction in various styles: novels, screenplays or theatre scripts.

I'd recommend this for its fool proof style. It's a compass that covers each stage of writing with exercises and methods for examining your work.
Jul 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The author did a great job laying out the steps and providing thought provoking, helpful questions to ask while crafting one's story. I look,forward to reading more of this author and re reading this book.
As someone who knows NOTHING about fiction writing, I found this book very helpful in getting the basics down.
Mel Walker
This was the textbook for a writing class I took. The class was insightful and a big reason was because of this book.
Anton Shelden
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Cliff Erickson
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