Editing Your Novel's Structure: Tips, Tricks, and Checklists to Get You from Start to Finish

Editing Your Novel's Structure: Tips, Tricks, and Checklists to Get You from Start to Finish

By Bethany A. Tucker

Before it’s time to check for commas and iron out passive voice, fiction writers need to know that their story is strong. Are your beta readers not finishing? Do they have multiple, conflicting complaints? When you ask them questions about how they experience your story, do they give lukewarm responses? Or have you not even asked anyone to read your story, wondering if it’s ready?

If any of the above is true, you may need to refine the structure of your story. What is structure you ask? Structure is what holds a story together. Does the character arc entrance the reader? Is the world-building comprehensive and believable? These questions and more have to be answered by all of us as we turn our drafts into books.

In this concise handbook, complete with checklists for each section, let a veteran writer walk you through the process of self-assessing your novel, from characters to pacing with lots of compassion and a dash of humor. In easy to follow directions and using adaptable strategies, she shows you how to check yourself for plot holes, settle timeline confusion, and snap character arcs into place.

Use this handbook for quick help and quick self-editing checklists on:

  • Characters and Character Arcs.
  • Plot.
  • Backstory.
  • Point of View.
  • A detailed explanation of nearly free self-editing tools and how to apply them to your book to find your own structural problems.
  • Beginnings and Ends.
  • Editing for sensitive and specialized subject matter.
  • Helpful tips on choosing beta readers, when to seek an editor, and a sample questionnaire to give to your first readers.

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