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Novelist’s Book Camp

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Novelist’s Book Camp
101 Ways to Take Your Book From Boring to Bestsell
by Todd A. Stone
Writer’s Digest Books, 2006
ISBN: 978-158297-360-9
$19.99 paperback, 256 pages

Read an Excerpt
You have an new way of thinking.  You have a plan.  Now you need to enlist new recruits, and the first step is character develop.  Strap on your boots and tackle Drill 35: Tell Your Character’s Backstories and Drill 36: Define the Opposition.  Plus, download a PDF of these drills and Mission III & IV of the Table of Contents.

About the Book
It’s time to plan and execute a writing strategy that’s in sync with your ultimate mission objective: getting published.

In Novelist’s Boot Camp, author Todd A. Stone, a former assistant professor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, draws on his experience as novelist, writing instructor, and military officer to help get you and your writing into tip-top shape.

This boot-camp-in-a-book includes 101 carefully crafted drills designed to show you how to:

  • Identify and develop story ideas with laser-like perception
  • Create realistic “alpha” characters who can take charge of any scene
  • Know what motivates your protagonist’s enemy so that you can amp up the conflict
  • Outline your story to avoid sneak attacks from flawed plot twists
  • Dodge the land mines of bad writing like Deadly Modifier Buildup (DMBU)
  • Triage your scenes to ensure a thorough and precise revision process

Plus, there’s a twelve-week boot camp battle plan that you can use to stay the course and finish your novel.

Novelist’s Boot Camp provides you with all the ammunition you need to approach your work with dedication, confidence, and skill. Now, report for duty and start writing that bestseller!


An Excerpt of the Table of Contents

BATTLE PLAN CHARLIE: Development
MISSION III: ENLIST YOUR NEW RECRUITS
Drill 26: Choose Your Cast
Drill 27: Make Your Main Character Unlike You
Drill 28: Understand the Alpha Male Character’s Motivations
Drill 29: Understand the Alpha Female Character’s Motivations
Drill 30: Make Your Protagonist Act Like a Dog
Drill 31: Distinctly Mark Your Characters
Drill 32: Discharge the Wimps
Drill 33: Give Your Protagonist a Pointed Personality
Drill 34: Open a Window to Your Character 
Drill 35: Tell Your Characters’ Backstories
Drill 36: Define the Opposition
Drill 37: Put a Face on Evil
Drill 38: Define, Objectify, and Personify the Objective
Drill 39: Use a Character Matrix 
Drill 40: Up-Gun Your Character Cards

MISSION IV: DEVISE YOUR OPERATIONS ORDER
Drill 41: Change the World
Drill 42: Take Three Steps to Story Line
Drill 43: Turn on Your Turning Points
Drill 44: Develop Your Exit Strategy 
Drill 45: Put Your Book on an Index Card 
Drill 46: Build Your Master Story Summary 
Drill 47: Plan Your Characters’ Development
Drill 48: Sound Off for Equipment Check

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