Getyour novel structure right for $99



This package is an important preliminary step to chapter-by-chapter mentoring of your manuscript or a stand-alone health-check on your novel writing skills if you are considering a final edit prior to publication. As I work with you through the chapters, it is far too late for me to discover, at Chapter 25,  that the plot is going nowhere or that readers will not empathise with the boring central character.  

Such inherent flaws can’t be fixed by superficial editing and need to be discovered and dealt with early. With the structural mentoring package, I check, tweak and advise on possible improvements across a number of essentials: clarity of authorial vision, characterisation, character motivation (both protagonist and antagonist), strength of protagonist’s goal or quest, plot development, presence of suitable plot arc of rising tension, depth of Darkest Moment, appropriate climax and denouement.

This inexpensive fixed-price package offers you the reassurance that your story concept and plot are strong before you move on to mentoring or costly final editing.


No matter how good your writing is, or how interesting the scenario you have devised, if a major structural flaw is present, the book just won’t work. I know from my own experience as a writer, that we are too close to our own work to see the underlying problems. We have the story in our heads, we have lived it, we know what happens – but have we communicated it quite so clearly to the reader? We get engrossed in the big scenes and the minutiae – the flesh and skin of the plot – and neglect the bones.

Here are a few of the serious problems I have discovered as I mentor and edit manuscripts– problems this Structural Mentoring Package will root out.

  1. The author has written 100,000 words and can’t tell me (or the publisher) succinctly what the book is about.
  2. There is no good reason for the reader to want to follow the MC (Main Character or protagonist) – the author has not made the reader care.
  3. Things just happen to the MC; he or she is not active in the plot.
  4. The MC has an inadequate goal: weak goal = weak story
  5. The antagonist isn’t fearsome: weak opposition = weak story
  6. The protagonist (or antagonist) doesn’t seem to have a reason for doing what he or she does.
  7. The Darkest Moment isn’t strong enough or is overshadowed by earlier crises.
  8. The MC is rescued rather than winning the struggle him/herself.
  9. Issues are not resolved by the end of the book.
  10. It has taken too long to resolve issues, wrap up after the climax … book drags on.



The package consists of three mentoring sessions to assist with writing your novel. Each session begins with an email questionnaire (dealing with a selection of the aspects listed above), which you fill out and return. I reply to your responses to these questions, giving the seal of approval and/or flagging problems, always with suggestions for improvement. We then engage in an email dialogue until you feel you have a way forward. As a writing coach with many years experience, I firmly recommend that this should be your first step in the mentoring process.

Of course, while I offer professional advice, and support my criticisms with reasons and explanations, that advice is nevertheless still a subjective opinion. You may feel you know your audience or your work better than I do and are comfortable about what you have written. I always advise my clients that, unless you are blown away by the ‘rightness’ of my suggestion, you should never implement changes. You have to be able to make them your own when you write your novel.


You are probably looking at a week’s work in this package. If you would like to purchase this service or ask any questions, please fill out the contact form below.

Contact Jim Parsons

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