Author Topic: Free Download: Novel Analysis Spreadsheet  (Read 4614 times)

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Offline Jean Reidy

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Free Download: Novel Analysis Spreadsheet
« on: May 31, 2009, 09:36 AM »
I agree with the theory that if we can become better artists by studying the masters, we can become better novelists by studying the master storytellers. But how do we do that?

Spreadsheet analysis of novels allows me to pattern author storytelling and plot devices. But the value in the methodology lies in the columns I create - in other words what I choose to track throughout the book. Over the years those columns have changed quite a bit for me. After reading HOOKED: WRITE FICTION THAT GRABS READERS AT PAGE ONE AND NEVER LETS THEM GO by Les Edgerton. I created a spreadsheet based on plot elements Edgerton outlines. And I'm loving it.

The spreadsheet allows me to look for patterns of problems, reactions, goals and actions. It also helps me focus on the elements of that critical beginning - a place where my novels need work.

Just as valuable as the ability to review the spreadsheet afterward, is the process of thinking about each element - words, paragraphs, pages, scenes and chapters - as I read and assign their purpose. The tool is therefore as valuable in its creation as in its end result.

Feel free to download my template from my website at www.jeanreidy.com. You can also see how I used it to analyze Ann M. Martin's HERE TODAY on my blog at http://jeanreidy.blogspot.com/2009/05/spreadsheet-novel-analysis-and-free.html.

I know the tool isn't perfect yet. For example In every novel there are those scenes in which things seem to be moving along just fine. I don't know what to call them. They aren't transitions, necessarily, because they do more than link scenes. They actually provide mood and setup for the next obstacle or problem. I'd like to know more about those storytelling elements, what they're called and how they're used effectively.

And I'd love to hear your suggestions for additional columns, uses, or changes or how you use spreadsheets to analyze or write your own novels.

In the meantime, happy reading and happy writing!
Jean

Jean Reidy
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Offline Rhonda

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Re: Free Download: Novel Analysis Spreadsheet
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2009, 09:58 AM »
so cool--thanks!!

Offline rainchains

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Re: Free Download: Novel Analysis Spreadsheet
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2009, 08:28 AM »
Nice post Jean,

I've been working on analyzing books that I'm reading. I thought your spreadsheet would be a great help to me. But I guess I'm being helpless today.  I can't seem to find a way to download anything on your site or blog. I've tried clicking all the links I noticed but I'm not getting a spreadsheet. What am I missing?

The sleep deprived mind is a terrible thing to use.

Help!
Rainchains :horse

Offline Jean Reidy

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Re: Free Download: Novel Analysis Spreadsheet
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2009, 09:36 AM »
Hey Rainchains.
Go to my website www.jeanreidy.com and on the opening page there's a white box under my blog feed that says "Novel Analysis Spreadsheet Free Download Click Here." Let me know if you still can't find it. It should open a dialogue box that gives you the option to open or save the Excel file.
Best,
Jean
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Too Purpley! Series, All Through My Town , Light up the Night, Time (Out) for Monsters. Coming soon: Sneak a Peak Construction Week, Specs!

Offline rainchains

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Re: Free Download: Novel Analysis Spreadsheet
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2009, 02:10 PM »
Thanks Jean,

I was totally being 'duh'. I had gone to your site before and started reading the article. Then I was clicking the article title, which mentions the download. That brought me to your blog where I again clicked something that mentioned the download only to be brought 'full circle' back to your site. If I had looked further down the page to the 'magic white box' I would have been fine. Thanks again. I've got it now and can't wait to play with it.

rainchains :horse

Offline Natalie

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Re: Free Download: Novel Analysis Spreadsheet
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2009, 02:19 PM »
Wow--thanks for sharing, Jean!
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Offline Christy

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Re: Free Download: Novel Analysis Spreadsheet
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2009, 09:10 PM »
This is really amazing of you. Thanks for sharing. I'm off to check it out.
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