LTN027 – Test Your Novel Idea With These 5 Questions

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Is your idea novel worthy? Does it have high-concept mass audience appeal? Here’s how to test it. Click the Read More . . . button to follow the list while listening to the podcast.

Test Your Novel Idea With These 5 Questions

1. Is what’s at stake in my story monumental, at least for my main characters?

Identify the stakes: What can be lost?
Challenge the stakes: So what? If they fail, what are the consequences?
Ask: What do the personal stakes reveal about my character?
Raise the personal stakes: How can this matter more for my character?
Raise the public stakes: How could things get worse for the town, the nation, the world?

2. Am I creating a character (or two) who is extraordinary in some way, even larger-than-life? One with whom the reader will become emotionally involved?

3. Can the thrust of my novel be summarized in a simple but strong dramatic sentence?

Qualities of a Strong Premise:
Plausibility: Could that really happen?
Inherent conflict: Does the world of the story have conflict built into it?
Originality: Does the story have a fresh angle?
Gut emotional appeal: Does the concept hit the reader in the gut?

4. Is my plot built around a high-concept conflict?

Is it original and unique?
Does it have mass audience appeal?
Is it strongly visual?
Is it strongly emotional?

5. Am I placing my characters in an environment that is in some way unusual or exciting, one that will cause the reader to feel she’s entering a largely new world?

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