Congratulations! Your epic space-opera novel is finished, and you're preparing to fire off your query letters to agents. But even though you've read your manuscript a hundred times, you still may have missed some weaknesses. Here's how to find them.
It's one of the biggest problems plaguing fiction — and it seems to hit genre fiction especially hard sometimes: the characters who all sound exactly alike. How do you keep your characters from all having the same voice?
So your space-wizard novel has resolved its epic storyline: Your hero has defeated your villain, or your central mystery's been solved. But unlike your hero, your work isn't done: there's still the denouement, where we find out what happens afterwards.
Your space-warping, mind-bending science fiction/fantasy novel isn't just action set pieces and breathtaking ideas — it's got character and atmosphere. And when you're developing those things, it's tempting to reach for that great tool, the Topic Sentence. But beware.
The best science-fiction novels boast panoramic world-building and complex ideas. But eventually, you must explain your grand design in a few sentences. This is what's called the "elevator pitch," and it's actually a helpful way of thinking about your novel.