Writing Advice: Troubleshooting Your Novel

Book Review Troubleshooting Your Novel by Steven James


As you can tell by the featured picture of this article, I have gotten a lot out of Steven James’ Troubleshooting Your Novel: Essential Techniques for Identifying and Solving Manuscript Problems.

I loved the formatting of this book. Each chapter was between 3 – 5 pages long, and they all ended with a list of ways to fine-tune your manuscript. Also, the chapters were broken up so that if you’re only experiencing one or two problems, you can go directly to the solution. Let’s say my critique partners have noticed I give way too much backstory (true story folks). I would search the table of contents and flip to page 130 to search for solutions.

If you’re just starting out with your writing, this book offers a goldmine of tips and tricks to help you clean up that first, second, third, forth, etc. draft.

But it’s not just for new writers. There are wonderful tips for any writer and any stage.

Every aspect of writing and editing a novel is covered. Maybe you can’t see a problem in your writing until someone else shows it to you.

I realized that my antagonist in my Romantic Suspense novel has some problems after reading the section about Suspense. Now I can go back and fix the issues!

As a seasoned writer, I didn’t agree with everything the book said, but then again writing and the rules that go with it are different for every person. I found wonderful information that I will be applying to my own manuscripts, and that’s why Mr. James wrote the book.

No matter if you’ve been writing for years, or you’re just starting out, this book has something to help bring your writing to the next level. I give it 5 stars!


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