AshEdit—News About Books & Writers

June 3, 2017

Novel Structure from a New Angle

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashedit @ 7:33 am

I’ve coached hundreds of writers on their novel manuscripts. The same writers who nail dynamic characters and lustrous prose sometimes need a little more time at the workbench when it comes to structure. To my way of thinking, if so many writers need help with structure, there should be a ton of books on the topic, just like the tons of books on writing characters and good grammar. But, there aren’t.

So, I decided to write one.  BM Front cover

My approach to novel structure is different than the standard ‘how-to’ book. Long ago, I started seeing mathematical patterns in bestselling novels, even though I flunked out of grade ten mathematics and thought I had no interest. However, the numbers kept leaping out of novels as I read them, and clocking me in the head, so I started writing them down. When I showed my work to fellow-writers like Dana King and Dan Kelly, they saw a similarity to the early work of Bill James, who invented Sabermetrics for baseball. I hadn’t even heard of him until then!

Excerpts on structure will be posted here over the coming weeks. There’s a new website, too: in case you want a sneak peek.

Bestseller Metrics: How to Win the Novel Writing Game will be out in a week or two. I’m interested in getting a few reviews, so if you do that sort of thing, please send a message.




  1. I was privileged to read a portion of this book before publication, and it is a wonderful guide for writers. Nice work Elaine!

    Comment by 3 no 7 — June 3, 2017 @ 10:43 am

  2. Hi there, mystery poster, 3 no 7. I know who you are but I won’t say. Nice to get a comment. Thank you.

    Comment by ashedit — June 3, 2017 @ 11:08 am

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