I have been working with authors for a while now. One of my favorite things to do is a manuscript review. Lots of coaches don’t like doing them, but I love getting the complete picture of the work so we can take it apart and figure out how to put it together in revision that will make it a wonderful novel.
One of the most common issues authors have is a break down in the cause and effect chain of their novel. It becomes a series of events. This happens and then this happens, and then this happens. Once you have a draft and you are looking at it, think about how your main character will move through the story and experience character growth. Each action/decision needs to CAUSE what will happen next. If you take this down even further, in each scene, there should also be a cause and effect chain. Something happens in a scene that causes something else, that leads to conflict, then resolution. It happens over and over again in a novel, both on a micro and a macro level.
One of the quickest ways to check yourself on this is to write your novel synopsis. If you can write a synopsis in which each plot point logically leads to what happens next, you probably have a pretty good chain of cause and effect. If you can’t or if it falls apart after the first 10% of the book, it may be time to have a rethink.
Reach out if you think a Manuscript Review might be just the thing you need to get your novel on track this year. You can sign up to chat with me about your book.