Troubleshooting Your Novel

troubleshooting-your-novelAuthor: Steven James

Publisher: Writer’s Digest Books

Release Date: September 20, 2016

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

A guide in the art of writing that tackles all the topics a writer needs to keep in mind when crafting a novel.

If you’ve completed your first draft of your novel, or just starting it, this is your next step. Steven James is a master storyteller and uses this book to show many of the steps aspiring authors need to be aware of in order to bring their novel to the next level.  This is a checklist that every author, new and experienced, should keep on hand and refer to often.  Going through this book, I noticed several things I needed to go back to my own manuscript and fix, even after having heard him speak on these points more than once.  So many authors will put a book together and try to get it published without going over many of these points to make their book the very best it can be.

The chapters are short, around four pages each, but still provide enough information to fix many of the problems we see in novels out today. It might seem a little surprising when opening the book and seeing over seventy chapters and points he addresses; however, they are all important.  Some could be grouped together but are valid on their own as well.  For me, one of the best aspects of this book is looking at it and knowing that it is written by someone who knows how to write the kind of books I want to read.  I have read everything Steven James has written and can’t wait to read anything he writes next.  I don’t want to read a book on writing by someone who doesn’t write novels and only writes about writing.  I don’t want another useless reference book, luckily this is not one of those.  So much practical advice that can really be used to make you a better writer.

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