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Graziadio Business Review Editor Nancy Dodd Authors The Writer’s Compass: From Story Map to Finished Draft in 7 Stages
How does a writer tell the story he or she wants to tell and capture an audience’s heart? Regardless of genre or format, to tell a story effectively writers must first sort through all the ideas they’ve been toying with—organize them, whip them into shape, and turn them into great writing.
In her new book, The Writer’s Compass: From Story Map to Finished Draft in 7 Stages, Nancy Ellen Dodd, editor of the Graziadio Business Review and adjunct professor of screenwriting at Seaver College, brings to writers a systematic approach to story development and revision featuring principles for both beginners and published authors.
The Writer’s Compass teaches writers to visualize their story by creating a story map based on the 3-act structure chart in order to see the essential elements of storytelling, what they know about their story, and, perhaps most importantly, what’s missing. Thought-provoking questions and exercises help writers more objectively assess their story’s strengths and weaknesses by thinking through what they are writing, why they are writing it, and what they want to say, setting the compass for the story the writer wants to tell—in seven stages.
“In my university class I only have time to teach story mapping and three of the seven stages—this book gives me the chance to expand my college course,” Dodd notes. “It is the heart of the thousands of hours I spent listening to lectures and audio, attending seminars and workshops, reading books, and acquiring two graduate degrees to learn the craft of writing.”
The book also addresses navigating the creative world by developing a writing time, space, and mind-set and addresses the importance of setting goals, quality writing, and how to map the writer’s lifestyle.
Dodd received her master’s in professional writing from the University of Southern California with a concentration in dramatic writing/screenwriting and her MFA in playwriting at USC’s School of Theatre.
She has received numerous awards for her writing, which includes screenplays, plays, short stories, short films, and novel-length works, as well as inspirational writing. Some of her short stories have been read on public radio. She also studied writing with several successful, award-winning writers: Pulitzer-prize winning playwright Paul Zindel; playwrights Velina Hasu-Houston, Oliver Mayer, David Milton, and Lee Wochner; screen and television writer Sy Gomberg; and international poet James Ragan.
Dodd serves as academic editor of the Graziadio Business Review, an online peer-reviewed business practitioner’s journal with over 500.000 page visits per year, 35% of those international. She also produces and edits video and audio interviews for the journal. Her journalistic career includes publishing more than 130 articles in local and national publications including interviews with celebrities and business leaders.