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Troubleshooting Your Novel

Book Description

Take your story to the next level of excellence!

You've completed the first draft of your novel--now what? Chances are, it's not perfect...at least not yet. In order to increase your chances of getting a literary agent, selling your manuscript to a  publisher, or garnering an audience for your self-published work, you need targeted, practical instruction on tackling the problem areas and weak spots in your story. You need Troubleshooting Your Novel.

In this hand-on, easy-to-use guide, award-winning author Steven James provides helpful techniques and checklists, timesaving tricks of the trade, and hundreds of questions for manuscript analysis and revision. You'll learn how to:
  • ADJUST elements of story progression, from causality, tension, and setbacks to plot twists, climaxes, and endings.
  • DEVELOP authentic, riveting characters by exploring their attitudes, desires, beliefs, and more.
  • LEARN narrative techniques for elements such as dialogue, flashbacks, suspense, voice, subtext, and flow.
  • ENSURE reader engagement by aligning with their expectations, fulfilling promises, and instilling trust.
  • CHECK issues with context and continuity.
You owe your book more than just a polish and a proofread. Strengthen your story, prepare it for the marketplace, and make it the best it can be with Troubleshooting Your Novel.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright Page
  3. Dedication
  4. Acknowledgments
  5. About the Author
  6. Foreword
  7. Introduction
  8. Part I: Story Progression
    1. Chapter 1: Orientation
      1. Fixing Orientation Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    2. Chapter 2: Causality
      1. Fixing Causality Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    3. Chapter 3: Setting
      1. Fixing Setting Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    4. Chapter 4: Hook
      1. Fixing Issues with the Hook
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    5. Chapter 5: Opening
      1. Fixing Issues with the Opening
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    6. Chapter 6: Disruption
      1. Fixing Disruption Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    7. Chapter 7: Pursuit
      1. Fixing Pursuit Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    8. Chapter 8: Tension
      1. Fixing Tension Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    9. Chapter 9: Scenes
      1. Fixing Scene Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    10. Chapter 10: Interludes
      1. Fixing Interlude Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    11. Chapter 11: Setbacks
      1. Fixing Setback Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    12. Chapter 12: Inevitability
      1. Fixing Inevitability Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    13. Chapter 13: Twists
      1. Fixing Twist Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    14. Chapter 14: Subplots
      1. Fixing Subplot Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    15. Chapter 15: Escalation
      1. Fixing Escalation Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    16. Chapter 16: Despair
      1. Fixing Despair Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    17. Chapter 17: Climax
      1. Fixing Climax Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    18. Chapter 18: Epiphanies
      1. Fixing Epiphany Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    19. Chapter 19: Transformation
      1. Fixing Transformation Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    20. Chapter 20: Resurrections
      1. Fixing Resurrection Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    21. Chapter 21: Closure
      1. Fixing Closure Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
  9. Part II: Characterization
    1. Chapter 22: Attitude
      1. Fixing Attitude Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    2. Chapter 23: Intentionality
      1. Fixing Intentionality Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    3. Chapter 24: Dilemmas
      1. Fixing Dilemma Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    4. Chapter 25: Believability
      1. Fixing Believability Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    5. Chapter 26: Dimensionality
      1. Fixing Dimensionality Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    6. Chapter 27: Protagonists
      1. Fixing Protagonist Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    7. Chapter 28: Antagonism
      1. Fixing Antagonism Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    8. Chapter 29: Desire
      1. Fixing Desire Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    9. Chapter 30: Love
      1. Fixing Love Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    10. Chapter 31: Intimacy
      1. Fixing Intimacy Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    11. Chapter 32: Backstory
      1. Fixing Backstory Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    12. Chapter 33: Status
      1. Fixing Status Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    13. Chapter 34: Struggles
      1. Fixing Issues with Struggles
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    14. Chapter 35: Incongruities
      1. Fixing Incongruity Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    15. Chapter 36: Physicality
      1. Fixing Physicality Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    16. Chapter 37: Choices
      1. Fixing Issues with Choices
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    17. Chapter 38: Stakes
      1. Fixing Issues with Stakes
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    18. Chapter 39: Individuality
      1. Fixing Individuality Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    19. Chapter 40: Relationships
      1. Fixing Relationship Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    20. Chapter 41: Beliefs
      1. Fixing Issues with Beliefs
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    21. Chapter 42: Vulnerability
      1. Fixing Vulnerability Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    22. Chapter 43: Resistance
      1. Fixing Resistance Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    23. Chapter 44: Blind Spots
      1. Fixing Blind Spot Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
  10. Part III: Narrative Techniques
    1. Chapter 45: Atmosphere
      1. Fixing Atmosphere Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    2. Chapter 46: Pace
      1. Fixing Pace Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    3. Chapter 47: Flow
      1. Fixing Flow Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    4. Chapter 48: Suspense
      1. Fixing Suspense Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    5. Chapter 49: Flashbacks
      1. Fixing Flashback Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    6. Chapter 50: Dialogue
      1. Fixing Dialogue Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    7. Chapter 51: Narration
      1. Fixing Narration Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    8. Chapter 52: Description
      1. Fixing Description Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    9. Chapter 53: Details
      1. Fixing Detail Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    10. Chapter 54: Themes
      1. Fixing Theme Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    11. Chapter 55: Symbolism
      1. Fixing Symbolism Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    12. Chapter 56: Transitions
      1. Fixing Transition Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    13. Chapter 57: Foreshadowing
      1. Fixing Foreshadowing Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    14. Chapter 58: Viewpoint
      1. Fixing Viewpoint Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    15. Chapter 59: Voice
      1. Fixing Voice Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    16. Chapter 60: Timing
      1. Fixing Timing Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    17. Chapter 61: Showing vs. Telling
      1. Fixing Showing and Telling Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    18. Chapter 62: Subtext
      1. Fixing Subtext Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    19. Chapter 63: Balance
      1. Fixing Balance Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
  11. Part IV: Reader Engagement
    1. Chapter 64: Expectations
      1. Fixing Expectation Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    2. Chapter 65: Anticipation
      1. Fixing Anticipation Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    3. Chapter 66: Promises
      1. Fixing Issues with Promises
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    4. Chapter 67: Emotion
      1. Fixing Emotion Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    5. Chapter 68: Longing
      1. Fixing Issues with Longing
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    6. Chapter 69: Trust
      1. Fixing Trust Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    7. Chapter 70: Empathy
      1. Fixing Empathy Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    8. Chapter 71: Truth
      1. Fixing Truth Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
  12. Part V: Style and Finesse
    1. Chapter 72: Receptivity
      1. Fixing Receptivity Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    2. Chapter 73: Context
      1. Fixing Context Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    3. Chapter 74: Continuity
      1. Fixing Continuity Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    4. Chapter 75: Unobtrusiveness
      1. Fixing Obtrusiveness Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    5. Chapter 76: Texture
      1. Fixing Texture Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    6. Chapter 77: Brevity
      1. Fixing Brevity Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    7. Chapter 78: Grammar and Format
      1. Fixing Grammar Issues
      2. Fixing Format Issues
      3. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    8. Chapter 79: Punctuation
      1. Fixing Punctuation Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    9. Chapter 80: Revisions
      1. Fixing Revision Issues
      2. Fine-Tuning My Manuscript
    10. Conclusion