Planning a Novel, Script or Memoir (Fiction Writing Guides)

Self-Help and Personal Development

By Hank Quense

Publisher : Strange Worlds Publishing

ABOUT Hank Quense

hank quense
Award-winning author Hank Quense lives in Bergenfield, NJ with his wife Pat.  They have two daughters and five grandchildren.  He writes humorous fantasy and scifi stories.  On occasion, he also writes an article on fiction writing or book marketing but says that writing nonfiction is l More...


Creating a long story such as a novel requires a great deal of effort and creativity. It is easy to get lost in details and to lose focus on the main issues. This book describes a process to plan the work prior to writing the first draft. The purpose of the plan is to allow the author to concentrate on the important elements of the story. A major portion of the book describes a method of developing a roadmap to keep the writer on target.
The plan can be used to develop any long story. Besides a novel this also includes scripts, memoirs and plays.

Writing a long story or any kind is a daunting undertaking, especially the first time. This book is my way of helping new or inexperienced writers get started on the project.

Amazon: Ktddnt: 5 starts

This book gets right down to business. The author points out that while the manuscripts are very different for novels, scripts and memoirs, the planning part is very similar for all three.

The tone is casual but informative and the language is simple to read and easy to understand. Reading this book felt a little bit like getting a long email from a friend who has great advice. There is warmth and humour that I did not expect to find in this type of guide.

I laughed at: “Your family probably thinks you are in your office playing computer games” – isn’t that the truth!

Quense offers not only his method, but also the tools he uses in his writing. Written with wit and wisdom, this book covers a lot of ground. At one point, during a detailed description of creating a complex graphical representation for the overall story line, we are told, “There is another use for this graphical synopsis. If you develop one for your story, print it and hang on the wall of your office. It'll impress the hell out of visitors.”

Excellent graphics give the reader examples of mind maps and charts that are useful aids for planning. Quense builds these using actual characters and works he has previously published.

I enjoyed the book and I would recommend it to anyone who wants a refresher on the basics of planning longer written works or who wants to learn how for the first time.