With an unusual approach to plotting, Lukeman uses a holistic, rather than a didactic, method. There is plenty of instruction and practical examples, as well as exercises, in the book, so it is a "teaching" book, but what Lukeman achieves is more than just teaching a reader "how to plot."
Although this book is mainly about plot, it's doesn't take a step-by-step approach to plotting. Rather, one gains a sense of how the elements of a novel are all connected and multi-layered. Characterisation drives plot; but plot deepens character.
Each chapter does deal with a specific element to strengthen plot, but ultimately what Lukeman conveys is that to achieve a work that goes beyond the norm - to write a transcendent book - one needs to understand that writing a novel is more than just technique.
The final chapter "Transcendency" reflects on what differentiates a great book from a good book and is a salutary lesson writing, not from the intellect, but from the soul. Lukeman says:"... it will entail putting yourself on the line ... passion is magnetic. Writing from a place of truth and love, you can never go wrong ...[there is] a difference between a writer who writes because he wants to and one who writes because he has to... the transcendent work is the work you know is the best you can offer."
As inspiring as Lukeman's [b:The First Five Pages: A Writer's Guide To Staying Out of the Rejection Pile|263254|The First Five Pages A Writer's Guide To Staying Out of the Rejection Pile|Noah Lukeman|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1348685206s/263254.jpg|255192]