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On Writing: John Marsden: (Writing the War)

Distributed by Chip Taylor Communications, 2 East View Drive, Derry, NH 03038-4812; 800-876-CHIP (2447)
Produced by VEA Productions
Directed by John Moss
VHS, color, 30 min.
Sr. High - Adult
Literature, Writing

Reviewed by Jay Schwartz, Suffolk Community College, Eastern Campus Library


Best selling Australian author, John Marsden talks about the various components, essential in writing a successful book. In short sequences, he describes various elements such as target audience, character development, planning (in Marsdenís case lack of advanced planning), background detail, marketing of book, etc. Each of these segments is followed by a very brief reading from his book Tomorrow, When the War Began, which deals with how young people react to an invasion of Australia. Marsden clearly outlines each element that he considers to be an integral part of the creative process. His advice is clear, well presented and based on experience. The readings are accompanied by shots of four young people wandering alone in a wilderness. They donít contribute much to the program. Marsdenís analysis of the writing process, and the well organized words of advice would have been enough. Recommended in spite of this.