The Plot Thickens 8 Ways to Bring Fiction to Live by Noah Lukeman is great for writers who have a basic plot formation, but want to take their carboard-cut-out-plain-Jane-plot and rocket it to the next level.
The first chapter, Characterization: The Outer Life, helps the writer develop the many outer layers and use these traits for plot points.
The second chapter, Characterization: The Inner Life, focuses on character's emotional and physical state.
Chapter three, Applied Characterization, teaches how to apply the outer and inner characterization traits to your characters.
In chapter four, The Journey, we learn about three profound journeys, focusing on realization. The next journey teaches about seven different surface journeys to strengthen the character's plot.
Chapter five, Suspense, list twelve ways to create suspense and then details how to prolong the suspense.
Chapter Six, Conflict, lists thirteen ways of creating and intensifying conflict among the cast of characters.
Chapter Seven, Context, teaches writers how to focus on a macro-look at their novel to see the big picture.
Chapter Eight, Transcendency, this chapter gives ideas on how to make a novel timeless for all generations.
At the end of each chapter, Mr. Lukeman presents exercises to strengthen the writer's grasp of the material presented.
I liked this quote from Page 120, "Suspense, ultimately, is about anticipation. It is about what we do not have, what has not happened. It's about the process of watching events unfold."
From the book blurb:
Noah Lukeman is a New York literary agent whose clients include multiple winners of the Pulitzer Prize and American Book Award, National Book Award finalists, Edgar Award finalist, New York Times bestselling authors, and the faculty of esteemed universities. He has worked as a manager in Artists Management Group, and is currently president of Lukeman Literary Management, Ltd. He is also author of the bestselling The First Five Pages, now part of the curriculum in many universities.