179 Ways To Save A Novel

Writers Digest Books, 2010

Is your fiction writing in peril? Based on real advice gleaned from thousands of writing critiques, 179 Ways to Save a Novel is more than a collection of ideas for troubleshooting your work-in-progress (though it holds plenty of practical writing advice). This inspiring guide doubles as a thoughtful examination of the writing life—and not just with respect to writing, but to the reading habits and thought processes of writers.

The 179 meditations in this book are grouped under six headings:

• Substance
• Structure
• Style
• Symbol, Myth & Metaphor
• Soul
• and Other Matters

Dip into the book at random when in need of nonspecific advice, inspiration, or criticism. Or read it straight through for a deeper examination of the writing life. However you encounter them, these meditations are guaranteed to challenge, inspire, provoke—and occasionally to tickle or annoy. But most of all they’ll awaken a deeper awareness of the fiction writer’s many challenges and thorny choices.

Peter Selgin’s 179 Ways To Save A Novel is brimming with sage and inspiring advice. Selgin writes about the craft of the novel with terrific lucidity, insight, and wit and his latest is a book that all aspiring novelists should have on their shelves.
—Laura van den Berg, author of What The World Will Look Like When All The Water Leaves Us

Bravo to Peter Selgin for a wise and valuable guide! Selgin’s masterful meditations provide the tools, knowledge and incentive to write meaningful fiction. A beautiful, supportive book, 179 Ways To Save A Novel belongs on every serious fiction-writer’s desktop.
—Mary E. Mitchell, author of Americans In Space

Randall Jarrell said that a novel is a prose narrative of some length that has something wrong with it. What Peter Selgin knows—and abundantly illustrates—is that we can learn from went wrong, and learning from our mistakes and from the mistakes of others is the premise of his wise and witty meditation on writing, a book that is as practical as it is provocative. What Peter Selgin talks about when he talks about writing is what every aspiring novelist needs to hear. He offers generous insights, frank talk, and ample encouragement. 179 Ways To Save A Novel is all the inspiration and guidance you’ll need to get your novel started, and more importantly, to get it finished.
—John Dufresne, author of Louisiana Power & Light and Requiem, Mass