The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing, 2nd Edition

Everything you need to know about creating & selling your work.
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The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing, 2nd Edition
by The Editors of Writer’s Digest
Writer's Digest Books, 2010
ISBN-13: 978-1-58297-958-8
ISBN-10: 1-58297-958-8-1
$19.99 paperback, 528 pages

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About the Book
Get advice from the best in the business on every part of the novel writing and publishing process! In The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing, 2nd Edition, you’ll learn from the invaluable advice of established writers. Discover new ways to generate ideas, implement intriguing techniques, and find the inspiration you need to finish your work. This fully-revised edition includes a revamped marketing section that covers the unique challenges of today’s publishing market and the boundless opportunities of online promotion.

Inside you’ll find expert advice from dozens of bestselling authors and publishing professionals on how to:
• Master the elements of fiction, from plot and characters to dialogue and point of view
• Develop a unique voice and sensibility in your writing
• Manage the practical aspects of writing, from overcoming writer’s block to revising your work
• Determine what elements your story needs to succeed in a particular genre—science fiction, fantasy, mystery, suspense, inspirational, romance (mainstream and Christian), or historical fiction
• Find an agent, market your work, and get published—or self-publish—successfully

You’ll also find interviews with some of the world’s finest writers, including Margaret Atwood, Tom Clancy, Brock Clarke, Cory Doctorow, Dave Eggers, Elizabeth George, Jerry Jenkins, Stephen King, Megan McCafferty, Audrey Niffenegger, Joyce Carol Oates, Chuck Palahniuk, James Patterson, Richard Russo, Anne Tyler, John Updike, and Kurt Vonnegut. Their words will provide you with the guidance and encouragement of your very own writing mentor.

The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing
is your one-stop resource for everything you need to know about the craft and business of creating a bestseller.

Table of Contents

Part One: The Art and Craft of a Strong Narrative

Best-Selling Advice: Inspiration & Ideas

1. Taming the Beast by N.M. Kelby
2. Mastering Fiction’s First Rule by Jack M. Bickham
3. Beyond Basic Blunders by Jerry B. Jenkins
4. Fire Up Your Fiction by Donald Maass
5. Why Real-Life Stories Often Don’t Make Good Fiction by Alyce Miller

Best-Selling Advice: Plot & Structure

6. The Philosophy of Plot by James N. Frey
7. The Plot Thickens by Monica Wood
8. What I Stole From the Movies by Les Standiford
9. Getting Your Act(s) Together by Ridley Pearson
10. Nailing the Conclusion by Michael Orlofsky
11. Why Setting Matters by Lisa Lenard-Cook
12. Depicting Character Through Place by Richard Russo

Best-Selling Advice: Characters

13. Character Study by Alice Hoffman
14. Four-Dimensional Characters by Stephanie Kay Bendel
15. Seven Tools for Talk by James Scott Bell
16. The Best POV for Your Story by Nancy Kress
17. Emotion: Fiction’s Connecting Link by Kathy Jacobson
18. Sense & Sensuality by Janet Fitch
19. Killer-Diller Details Bring Fiction to Life by Donna Levin
20. The Fifty-Page Dash by David King
21. Pace Yourself by Nancy Kress
22. The Perfect Title by Steve Almond
23. What Your Story Says by Nancy Kress

Part Two: The Writing Process

Best-Selling Advice: Getting Started

24. Baby Steps by Bill O’Hanlon
25. Write Like Poe by Mort Castle
26. Breaking Through Writer’s Block by Octavia E. Butler

Best-Selling Advice: Rituals & Methods

27. The Use of the Journal in Writing a Novel by Sue Grafton
28. Research in Fiction by Karen Dionne
29. Your Novel Blueprint by Karen S. Wiesner
30. Map Your Novel by N.M. Kelby
31. Rough Up Your First Draft by Elizabeth Sims

Best-Selling Advice: Revision & Editing

32. A Four-Step Plan for Revision by Raymond Obstfeld
33. Dealing With Criticism by Laura Hendrie

Part Three: Exploring Novel Genres

Best-Selling Advice: Style & Craft

34. Literary Lust vs. Commercial Cash by Jodi Picoult
35. Writing the World of Fantasy by Terry Brooks
36. Story Structures for Science Fiction & Fantasy by Orson Scott Card
37. Innovation in Horror by Jeanne Cavelos
38. Write This, Not That by Elizabeth Sims
39. The Who in Whodunits by J.A. Jance
40. Writing Killer Suspense by Carol Davis Luce
41. Clues, Red Herrings, & Misdirection by Hallie Ephron
42. Inside Christian Fiction by Penelope J. Stokes
43. What Is Christian Romance? by Gail Gaymer Martin
44. The Basics of Romance by Rita Clay Estrada and Rita Gallagher
45. Sexual Tension & Love Scenes by Leigh Michaels
46. Crafting History Into Fiction by James Alexander Thom

Part Four: Finding & Cultivating a Market for Your Work

Best-Selling Advice: Publishing

47. A Step-By-Step Guide to the Publishing Process by Jerry D Simmons
48. “Study the Market!” by Michael Seidman
49. Outstanding Book Proposals by Don Prues
50. Building a Solid Three-Paragraph Query by Ann Rittenberg
51. Producing a Knockout Novel Synopsis by Evan Marshall
52. Make Rejection Into a Plan of Action by Wendy Burt-Thomas
53. Your Power Platform by Christina Katz
54. Novelists Need Platforms, Too by Jane Friedman
55. The Must-Have Online Marketing Plan by M.J. Rose
56. Finding the Perfect Editor by Mark Peters
57. The Future Role of Agents by Jane Friedman
58. How to Decipher Agency Contracts by Howard Zaharoff
59. Straight Expectations by Jane Friedman
60. An Agent’s Perspective on Self-Publishing by Andrea Hurst
61. The Growing Community of Self-Publishing by Joe Wikert

Part Five: Interviews with Novelists

Best-Selling Advice: Readers

62. A Conversation With Tom Clancy by Katie Struckel Brogan
63. Crafting Characters With Elizabeth George by David A. Fryxell
64. Find Identity With Joyce Carol Oates by Katie Struckel Brogan
65. John Updike: Still More to Say by Kelly Nickell
66. Kurt Vonnegut on Flouting the Rules by Kelly Nickell
67. In Anne Tyler’s Writing World by Jessica Strawser
68. A Conversation With Stephen King and Jerry Jenkins by Jessica Strawser
69. Cory Doctorow: On Revolutionary Road by Christina Katz

Best-Selling Advice: Purpose

70. Audrey Niffenegger’s Artistic Liberties by Jessica Strawser
71. Shock & Awe: Chuck Palahniuk by Jordan E. Rosenfeld
72. Dave Eggers: Going His Own Way by Kristin D. Godsey
73. Master of Tragicomedy: Richard Russo by Jane Friedman
74. Unlocking the Door: Margaret Atwood by Kristin D. Godsey
75. James Patterson’s Trademark Success by Diana Page Jordan
76. Megan McCafferty: A Crossover Success by Lauren Mosko
77. Brock Clarke’s Delicious Satire by Maria Schneider

The Play Really Is the Thing

The Play Really Is the Thing

Studying different genres can make you a stronger writer overall. Here, author Jessica Barksdale Inclán explains why reading more Shakespeare is a great idea.

Pair vs. Pare vs. Pear (Grammar Rules)

Pair vs. Pare vs. Pear (Grammar Rules)

Prepare yourself for comparing the differences of pair, pare, and pear on with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

6 Lessons of Writing for Novelists

6 Lessons of Writing for Novelists

As the author of 16 novels, Wendy Wax shares her top 6 tips for novelists to help their writing journey go as smoothly as possible.

Elyssa Friedland: On Letting Setting Guide You

Elyssa Friedland: On Letting Setting Guide You

When author Elyssa Friedland settled on the setting for her latest novel, Last Summer at the Golden Hotel, the characters and plot came to her. Here, she discusses the importance of setting.

Alyson Gerber: On Writing Difficult Topics for Young Readers

Alyson Gerber: On Writing Difficult Topics for Young Readers

Critically acclaimed author Alyson Gerber discusses how she tackled the topic of disordered eating in her latest middle-grade novel, Taking Up Space.

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