Tuesday, December 04, 2018

An excellent reference manual for self-editing your manuscript

Troubleshooting Your Novel: 100 Incredibly Practical Ways to Fix Your FictionTroubleshooting Your Novel: 100 Incredibly Practical Ways to Fix Your Fiction by Steven James
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is an excellent manual to help you edit a manuscript and ranks up there with Self Editing for Fiction Writers in terms of its effectiveness. It is a book aimed at helping the author revise or edit the manuscript. His earlier book Story Trumps Structure is about the organic process of writing a manuscript.
The one caveat I would have is that James has little idea or interest in the romance genre as he primarily writes thrillers aimed at men. Thus those two chapters are far weaker than the rest of the book (78 other chapters). However as I have written over 27 bestselling romances for Harlequin, I was not as concerned about that section -- I just rolled my eyes and muttered a few unprintable words.
The other sections are excellent however. The chart in the show (render) v tell (summarize) chapter is one of the best I have seen and is certainly worth the price of the book. The questions and fine-tuning your manuscript in each chapter are thought provoking.
It is a book which has made me think. I suspect it is a book that will find a place on many writers' desks for many years to come.

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