The Writer’s Bookshelf: Recommended References and Writing Resources (Episode 46: Discussing “Troubleshooting Your Novel” by Steven James)

Title Image for The Writer’s Bookshelf Episode 46

So, you think you’re finished with your magnum opus? Think again. Maybe go back through it. Just make sure you didn’t accidentally name your hero “Jack” in one scene and “Jill” in another. What was that? He had dark hair in one chapter and blond in another? Is he a spy? And what about that dog? Is its name also “Jack,” or did you get your wires crossed again (or is your hero sometimes a human and sometimes a dog)?

Welcome back to The Writer’s Bookshelf. Today, we’re looking at Troubleshooting Your Novel, Steven James’s follow-up to his excellent book for organic writers (I refuse to call them pantsers), Story Trumps Structure.

In this book, you can learn how to take your messy masterpiece and clean it up, fixing broken plot points, identifying shifts in message, and otherwise taking that rough piece of clay that resembles a novel and chipping away the rough edges (or maybe lob some chunks off) until something smooth and beautiful emerges.

You can check out my video for it here. And don’t forget to check out Steven James’s other book when you get a chance.

Troubleshooting Your Novel: Essential Techniques for Identifying and Solving Manuscript Problems

by Steven James


Amazon Metadata:

·  Paperback : 360 pages

·  ISBN-10 : 1599639807

·  ISBN-13 : 978-1599639802

·  Publisher : Writer’s Digest Books (September 20, 2016)

Check out other entries in the Writer’s Bookshelf series here.

Oh, and before I forget to tell you, this episode marks the end of our weekly Season 2 episodes. That means there won’t be any new craft books to review next week. But don’t worry, I still have five episodes left in the planner for our season bonuses, which will begin November 4th, and cover more practical items like specialized dictionaries and word usage guides.

Season bonuses traditionally air on the first Friday of each month, so I plan to release a new Writer’s Bookshelf episode every first Friday until March 2022. At that point, Season 2 will officially end (although I may still do a recap episode like I did for the first season).

Regarding the start of Season 3, I don’t yet have a schedule in mind. But I doubt it’ll happen before May 2022. Season 2 hasn’t been nearly as followed as Season 1 (in fact, every book I thought would be in demand turned out to be my least viewed episodes), so I think it’s time to cool it down a bit. Not to mention, I need a break from reading craft books. I definitely want to get my slate for Season 3 together—some important ones on that list—but I also want to make sure my reviews are useful to you, and that means refreshing my head a bit. So, May 2022 will likely be the earliest we launch the next season.

But that’s also good news for you because it gives you time to catch up with the books you haven’t read yet. So, go ahead and catch up. You’ve got seven months.

See you in November!

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