The third entry in the eponymous series by author and agent Marshall covers everything from writing good dialogue to finding an agent to promoting the published book. Faced with more submissions than ever, Marshall says, editors and agents are looking for reasons to say no--they try to find the""telltale signs that a writer doesn't write well or isn't professional, or doesn't have a fresh idea."" First, Marshall offers basic (and very specific) rules on how to produce writing that's saleable: ""Rather than simply telling us how a place looks, work that description into the fabric of the story""; ""If you're describing something that is actually made up of a number of separate elements (a crowd, a flower garden, a city street), name the object first, then focus on a telling detail or two."" He discusses how to use a few, effective particulars to describe a character; how to write a synopsis and query letter that will spark an agent's interest; the usefulness of writers' conferences and contests; and ways to tell a good publishing offer from a bad one. These tips from an experienced publishing hand will be indispensable to those trying to enter from afar the intense competition to have a novel published. Those with highly literary tastes may want to find another how-to-publish volume, however, as Marshall uses Jackie Collins, David Baldacci and other popular authors to illustrate various aspects of good fiction, and his""Plotting Made Easy"" section seems best suited to genre fiction.
Reviewed on: 05/01/2003 Release date: 05/01/2003 Genre: Nonfiction