J M's Reviews > The Writer's Compass: From Story Map to Finished Draft in 7 Stages

The Writer's Compass by Nancy Ellen Dodd
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U 50x66
's review

it was amazing

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 Dodd has managed to include everything I learnt from all of them, while noting any parallel terms that just drive you crazy.

From starting, to setting, to mapping (not outlining - which blocks the creative flow), to character development, to dialogue, through to the Hero's Journey and character arch's - this book covers it in a crazy user-friendly manner.

Ive seen other people review it as mediocre, and it may be because it opens with setting up a writers lifestyle, which I personally needed, but know others who did not. If you want to jump right in start at chapter 2. Make sure you answer the questions along the way. When you get stuck it will pull you out of the writers block --> The culmination of which by the way concludes the basis of what you learn in a screenwriting MFA, though minus the group feedback which is essential to writing.

Reading this book will give you a broad basis, and if you read other books in screenwriting after it, you will understand it better based on what you've already learnt.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
February 1, 2012 – Finished Reading
March 12, 2012 – Shelved

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