Stan James's Reviews > Plot Gardening: Write Faster, Write Smarter

Plot Gardening by Chris  Fox
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This is a perfectly cromulent book on outlining a novel and Fox goes into detail on two popular methods, the traditional three-act approach and the perhaps less-familiar story circle.

Running with the gardening metaphor, Fox provides step-by-step instructions and illustrates them with examples from several popular movies (relying primarily on Star Wars) and also drawing from his own work--including examples where he failed, and then learned from the failure.

Each chapter has exercises to follow at the end and Fox knows a lot of people will just read straight through, so he has thoughtfully included all exercises again at the end of the book.

Overall, there's not much more you could ask for in a book about outlining a novel. Fox explains everything in a clear manner, provides examples, and even throws in a bit of neuroscience here and there. Despite all this, I never found the book overly engaging, perhaps because I've always resisted outlining my stories--and I can't claim they've been better for this lack, either.

Still, don't let my own indifference sway you--this is a well-constructed template on how to outline a novel and would serve any new novel writer well.
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Reading Progress

August 26, 2018 – Started Reading
August 26, 2018 – Shelved
September 1, 2018 – Finished Reading
September 2, 2018 – Shelved as: reviewed

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