When you compare the pace of the "substantial happenings" in your work to best-selling books, does yours hold up? Analyzing the structural language of a New York Times best seller can give you a whole new view of writing and how great stories are put together.

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You can succeed in today's marketplace as an independent author. There's data to back that up. Of course, statistics and sales reports won't mean a thing if your book has not been professionally edited or if you rushed through the design process.

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When you conflate, you tighten your writing and move your story forward. With practice and persistence, you can make your lessons more powerful, enjoyable, and universal.

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One way to create a memorable story is to take a minute to let your characters breathe. Build a scene where you exit the narrative structure and allow your readers to bond with the characters.

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Discussions about structure tend to offer formulas, though formulas often lead to formulaic stories. But an understanding of narrative structure is important: you have to know the rules before you break them.

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Excerpted from BookBaby's latest guide, 5 Steps To Self Publishing, Part I of our series addresses reasons to self-publish and the importance of professional editing.

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Your book's structure is the tool that will gather up your readers and keep them following along with you; it's the tie that binds all the parts of your story together, from end to end, and in the middle too.

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