Writing the Blockbuster Novel

Overview

Ken Follett and Eileen Goudge, among others, have something in common: They have mastered the craft of building the compelling novels that appear on best-seller lists around the world. And here Albert Zuckerman, agent and editorial advisor to many successful authors in every genre, discloses the somewhat hidden nuts and bolts of what makes this type of book tick, and shows how you, too, could write a novel that might sell in the millions. Zuckerman covers every aspect of writing the blockbuster novel (or the "big...
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Writing the Blockbuster Novel

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Overview

Ken Follett and Eileen Goudge, among others, have something in common: They have mastered the craft of building the compelling novels that appear on best-seller lists around the world. And here Albert Zuckerman, agent and editorial advisor to many successful authors in every genre, discloses the somewhat hidden nuts and bolts of what makes this type of book tick, and shows how you, too, could write a novel that might sell in the millions. Zuckerman covers every aspect of writing the blockbuster novel (or the "big novel," as it's called in the publishing world), including defining it. You'll learn how to develop and use an outline; the value of setting your novel in an exotic or unique world; how to choose and build your characters; to control point of view and use it as a technique for developing reader empathy; how to knit together the relationships between characters; the importance of confrontational scenes, and how to sustain them; how to build scenes while setting up suspense and maintaining current action; to weave plot strands in order to build maximal climaxes; to develop and use rhythm in your plotting; and what a story point is and how to make sure each chapter includes at least one. All of this is illustrated through numerous examples of current - and timeless - popular fiction, including the works of Ken Follett, Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind, Mario Puzo's The Godfather and others. If you aspire to write a big novel, then this book will be invaluable to you. Read it. Learn from it. And who knows? It could be your name on the best-seller's list.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Zuckerman, a veteran literary agent representing such best-selling authors as Ken Follett and Eileen Goudge, here explains how authors can get their novels onto the best-sellers list. This book is not intended for beginning writers but will help those who have mastered the craft of novel writing and now wish to write a book with blockbuster potential. Of course, there are no guarantees here: the reading public is fickle, and, ultimately, readers are the ones who make best sellers. That said, Zuckerman knows what works most of the time. He spends the two largest sections of the book on outlining and revision. Authors need to know where they are going, and a detailed outline will help them map a plan to bring together all the characters and plot lines. Best-selling novels by Follett, Goudge, and others are used as examples. This will be useful in libraries that serve writers. Recommended.-- Lisa J. Cochenet, Plainfield P.L. Dist., Ill.
Denise Perry Donavin
Even if a writer can write a good, readable novel, what makes it a blockbuster? Is it just the marketing hype and the fact that someone knew someone? Not according to Zuckerman, who explains piece by piece what makes a good novel hit the top. Having worked with Follett and others for the past 20 years as a literary agent, Zuckerman has seen his share of bad books, and even written a few. Here he takes a look at the characterizations, plot lines, points of view, and other essential features of five major novels, including The Godfather and Gone with the Wind. His approach is pragmatic and fun to read besides.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780898795981
  • Publisher: F+W Media
  • Publication date: 2/15/1994
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.22 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Getting Started 4
2 The Big Book: What is It? 14
3 Setting Your Novel 23
4 The Outline Process 34
5 Larger-Than-Life Characters 99
6 Point of View 113
7 Tightening Character Relationships 120
8 Setting Up Scenes 128
9 Big Scenes 138
10 Weaving Plot Strands 150
11 Rhythm in Plotting 160
12 Story Points 164
13 Revision 171
14 Getting it Published and onto the Best-Seller Lists 206
Index 214
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