Can you answer YES to these questions?
Does your protagonist demonstrate some level of agency in the novel’s opening pages?
Does he or she have a goal in life even before the inciting incident steers him or her onto the narrative path?
Do you demonstrate in concrete terms throughout your protagonist’s capacity to be a VICTOR, rather than a VICTIM?
Does the narrative world of the story contain some sense of tension or “unease?” Is something wrong on some level, even before the story starts?
Is there something compelling and different, even if just a little “off” or unexpected, within the world of your story?
Is your protagonist the most important and central figure in your story, driving the narrative through his or her own pursuits and desires?
If you’re writing middle grade or young adult, are the problems in the story germane to the child/teen’s world, rather than the world of the adults?
Does your novel make use of fully realized scenes to keep conflict and tension palpable throughout?
Are you writing from a deep point of view that allows the reader to truly occupy the senses and emotional life of your characters? If not, does your authorial voice have a strong personality of its own?
Is the novel’s voice beautiful, powerful, or singular in some way?
Does the protagonist make hard choices, sacrifice well-entrenched beliefs about him/herself or others, and lose some element of certainty during the course of the story?
Does story temperature escalate throughout, so that we feel the emotional the reader’s sense of tension and apprehension builds throughout?
Free Expressions is booking editing clients through fall and winter, 2018.
Whether you’re looking for story development help or want comprehensive feedback on a complete or partial MS, we’d love to work with you. We’ve helped hundreds of people achieve publishing—and sometimes bestselling—success.
Let us help you!