The Writer's Compass

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The Writer's Compass
From Story Map to Finished Draft
by Nancy Ellen Dodd
Writer's Digest Books, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-59963-197-4
$19.99, paperback, 224 pages

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Read an interview with the author
The Writer's Compass author Nancy Ellen Dodd talks about writing and the writer's life in this exclusive Q&A. 

Read an excerpt
In this excerpt from The Writer's Compass, author Nancy Ellen Dodd discusses the important technique of foreshadowing.

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 first 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 way. This guide to better writing teaches you to visualize your story’s progress by creating a story map that helps you see all the different components of your story, where these components are going, and, perhaps most importantly, what’s missing.

You’ll learn to:

  • develop your ideas into a finished story by working through your writing in 7 thoughtful stages
  • evaluate and improve your work by mapping out your story’s progress and structure
  • assess your story’s strengths and weaknesses so you can write the story you want to tell

Whether you’re writing a novel, a short story, a play, or a screenplay, the 7 stage approach of The Writers Compass allows you to focus on one aspect of your story at a time—including forming and developing ideas, building strong structures, creating vibrant characters, and structuring scenes and transitions.

The path of a writer isn’t always easy. Let The Writer’s Compass be your north star by simplifying a wealth of writing advice into easily applicable concepts that will help you improve your craft.

About the author
Nancy Ellen Dodd is a writer, university instructor, and an editor with two master’s degrees in writing from the University of Southern California. She currently teaches screenwriting at Pepperdine University and has studied with a number of award winning authors.

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