Many novelists, who have had no success finding an agent or publisher in a dozen or more tries, turn to a “book doctor” like me and say, “What’s wrong with my book?”
Often the answer is simple. They’ve not yet learned that “all writing is rewriting.” They’ve written a novel, but they have not rewritten one.
To make your manuscript shine:
1. Get outside perspectives
● narrative drive
● character development
Consider hiring a high school or college English teacher to copyedit the pages, highlighting concerns with:
2. Evaluate from macro to micro elements
Read your entire novel — charting it as you go. Make note of:
● How quickly the lead hooks the reader
● If the subplot becomes evident no later than chapter three
● The arcs of conflict, the surprises, the plot twists
● Whether the climactic scene is sufficiently dramatic
Finally, does the denouement:
● tie up all loose ends
● answer all questions
● imply the next phase of the characters’ lives
By putting the whole book in your head (macro) while critiquing the individual elements (micro), you can insert the correct pieces that will eventually reveal the finished puzzle.
Dennis E. Hensley is the co-author with Holly G. Miller of the Leslie Holden novels for Harvest House Publishers: He directs the Department of Professional Writing at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana.
© Copyright Dennis E. Hensley. (Do not use this article in any form without written permission.)
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