The Three Essential Building Blocks of Your Novel: Who, What, and Where

The Three Essential Building Blocks of Your Novel: Who, What, and Where

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  • You are currently composing a novel and want to make sure your work gets read by an agent and/or editor
  • Your work has been rejected and you want to evaluate why it didn't make the cut
  • You have non-novel publishing credits and want to make the jump to fiction writing


You love your main character, but no one else seems to get her. The town in your story is supposed to be wondrous and magical, but the townspeople don't seem to like it. The romantic interest is sexy and sweet, but it doesn't… do a whole lot. Why does the character like this romantic interest again? This is a common example showing symptoms of plots, characters, and settings that aren't working for your novel.

In this presentation, literary agent Roseanne Wells goes back to the essentials of character, plot, and setting to show how they all fit together. She discusses how you determine who your main character really is, what to ask yourself about setting, and how to make something happen!


  • How character, plot, and setting all work together in a novel
  • How to tell who your main character is, and why it's their story
  • How other characters can strengthen and support your main character
  • Tips to construct a scene that moves the narrative
  • The five questions to ask in creating your characters' setting


Roseanne Wells joined JDLA as an associate agent in 2012. Previously with the Marianne Strong Literary Agency, she has also worked as a proofreader and a special sales and editorial assistant. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with degrees in Literature and Dance. An avid reader, Roseanne discovered her passion for book publishing during her internship at W. W. Norton, and she approaches agenting as a writer's advocate, editor, and partner.

She is interested in young adult and select middle grade projects, as well as strong literary fiction that emphasizes craft and style equally, and doesn't sacrifice plot and character for beautiful sentences; science-fiction and fantasy; and smart detective novels (more ‘Sherlock Holmes' than cozies).

NOTE: Writer's Digest does not offer refunds for OnDemand Webinars. All sales are final. OnDemand Webinars do NOT include a critique.

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