Writing the Breakout Novel

( 18 )

Overview


Take your fiction to the next level!

Maybe you're a first-time novelist looking for practical guidance. Maybe you've already been published, but your latest effort is stuck in mid-list limbo. Whatever the case may be, author and literary agent Donald Maass can show you how to take your prose to the next level and write a breakout novel - one that rises out of obscurity and hits the best-seller lists.

Maass details the elements that all ...

See more details below
Paperback (1ST)
$14.09
BN.com price
(Save 17%)$16.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (20) from $3.78   
  • New (9) from $9.46   
  • Used (11) from $3.78   
Writing the Breakout Novel (PagePerfect NOOK Book)

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK Study

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.49
BN.com price
(Save 38%)$16.99 List Price

Overview


Take your fiction to the next level!

Maybe you're a first-time novelist looking for practical guidance. Maybe you've already been published, but your latest effort is stuck in mid-list limbo. Whatever the case may be, author and literary agent Donald Maass can show you how to take your prose to the next level and write a breakout novel - one that rises out of obscurity and hits the best-seller lists.

Maass details the elements that all breakout novels share - regardless of genre - then shows you writing techniques that can make your own books stand out and succeed in a crowded marketplace.

You'll learn to:

  • establish a powerful and sweeping sense of time and place
  • weave subplots into the main action for a complex, engrossing story
  • create larger-than-life characters that step right off the page
  • explore universal themes that will interest a broad audience of readers
  • sustain a high degree of narrative tension from start to finish
  • develop an inspired premise that sets your novel apart from the competition
Then, using examples from the recent works of several best-selling authors - including novelist Anne Perry - Maass illustrates methods for upping the ante in every aspect of your novel writing. You'll capture the eye of an agent, generate publisher interest and lay the foundation for a promising career.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In today's world, an author who doesn't produce a breakout novel risks getting lost in the midlist of the publishing world. Maass, the author of 17 novels who now works as a literary agent representing such distinguished writers as Anne Perry and James Patterson, knows firsthand what makes a novel rise above its category in the already saturated book market. Using his own clients as case studies, Maass defines the most crucial elements of a breakout novel a powerful sense of time and place, larger-than-life characters, a high degree of tension, good subplots, and universal themes and shows the reader how to use these elements efficiently to write a novel that will generate interest and have the potential to hit the best sellers lists. Each section ends with checklists for review. Recommended for all public libraries serving communities with struggling writers. Lisa J. Cihlar, Monroe P.L., WI Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582971827
  • Publisher: F & W Media Inc
  • Publication date: 8/28/2002
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 176,564
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword 1
Introduction 5
You Have the Power to Break Out
How to Use This Book
Chapter 1 Why Write the Breakout Novel? 15
The Truth About Book Publishing
The Truth About Authors
The Myths of Success
The E-Revolution
Where to Go From Here
Chapter 2 Premise 33
The Stories That You Love
Four Facets of Three Great Novels
The Little Components of Big Ideas
Build It and the Breakout Premise Will Come
Brainstorming the Breakout Premise
Chapter 3 Stakes 59
Creating High Human Worth
Public Stakes
Personal Stakes
Escalating Stakes
Your Own Stakes
Chapter 4 Time and Place 81
The Psychology of Place
Keeping Up With the Times
Working With Historical Forces and Social Trends
God at Work in the World
The Secret Ingredient
Chapter 5 Characters 103
Real People vs. Larger-Than-Life Figures
What Makes a Character Larger-Than-Life?
Dark Protagonists
The Highest Character Qualities
Building a Cast
Advanced Character Relationships
Sidekics and Narrators
Depth and Differentiation of Character
Chapter 6 Plot 133
Conflict
The Five Basic Plot Elements
Bridging Conflict
What is the Worst That Can Happen?
High Moments, Turning Corners, Killing Characters
Structuring Plot
Larger Plot Structures
Chapter 7 Contemporary Plot Techniques 163
The New Shape of the Novel
The Character-Driven Story
Self-Discovery in the Plot-Driven Novel
Nonlinear Narrative
Tension on Every Page
Chapter 8 Multiple Viewpoints, Subplots, Pace, Voice, Endings 181
Multiple Points of View
Successful Subplots
Narrative Pace
Voice
Endings
Chapter 9 Advanced Plot Structures 199
Families, Groups, Generations
Thrillers
Crossover Fiction
Whole Life
Historicals
Out-of-Category Romance
Linked Short Stories
Inventing Your Own Advanced Plot Structure
Chapter 10 Theme 229
Having Something to Say
Step-by-Step Theme Building
Symbols
Becoming Passionate
Right and Wrong in the Novel
The Protagonist's Declaration of Purpose
What Makes a Theme Universal?
Discovering Theme
Chapter 11 Breaking Out 247
Agent and Editor
The Pitch
Outlines
Breakout Publishing, Breakout Living
Success, Sequels, Series and Beyond
Index 261
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 18 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2005

    Asks the Right Questions

    I previewed this book in the bookstore and then ordered it along with the workbook. Both delivered well (the workbook has a different angle from the book and is not redundant, therefore, very worthwhile). This book makes you look at your novel in a new way. I found there were many aspects to my story that I had failed to capitalize upon. The author (a literary agent) knows what sells. I found his taste in books to be a little on the commercial side, but he uses these examples well to make his points.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 14, 2011

    Worth it

    Worth every penny. Will take your writing to the next level.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 13, 2009

    Great insights for published and unpublished writers

    Maass provides suggestions and examples from well-known authors to support his points on how to develop all aspects of a novel. I would recommend this to all writers, at a minimum, as a reference for understanding and reminding yourself what makes a story a page-turner.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    IF YOU CAN ONLY BUY ONE "HOW TO" BOOK ON FICTION WRITING, THIS IS IT!

    This is the most amazing book I've ever read specifically on the subject of fiction writing. It is humurous, informative, whitty and captivating! Don't believe me? I wouldn't have believed me either...until I read it.

    Get the book! You won't be sorry!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2004

    Maass and King: The One┬┐Two-Knockout Punch for Writers!

    With Donald Maass¿ ¿Writing the Breakout Novel¿ in your left hand, and Stephen King¿s ¿On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft¿ in your right hand, any would-be author is armed with a one-two-knockout punch for writing a successful novel. Maass offers and defines the realistic, no-fluff, must-have essential elements for a ¿breakout novel¿. King offers a down and dirty sketch for a daily regimen to achieve stickwithitness and success -- and he offers that for many nit-noy concerns you may have, you can ¿fuhgedaboutit¿! It¿s all here in two volumes, Maass and King, the one-two-knockout punch for writers. If you are serious about the craft and a career as an author, these are absofreakinglutely must-reads!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A must have for any writer

    Donald Maass has created a tool with this book and its accompanying workbook that every writer should have. It helps you critically examine your own work, or construct it more compellingly if you are just beginning. The exercises will force you to ask serious questions about your work, plot, characters, conflicts, and many other components in order to get the most out of a scene. For me, it also served as a source of great inspirations. Many of the "AH-HA" moments it inspired will be included in my work. A must have for every writer, from beginner to established.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2005

    advice on how to write a thriller

    Maass does go beyond the usual bland advice found in how-to-write books in that he tries to say which methods produce better results. He discusses ¿Premise¿, Stakes, Time and Place, Characters, Plot, ¿Contemporary Plot Techniques¿ (¿nonlinear¿ narratives, character-driven stories), ¿Multiple Viewpoints, Subplots, Pace, Voice, Endings¿ (all in one chapter), ¿Advanced Plot Structures¿ (generational novels, whole life novels, historical novels, linked short stories), and Theme. His chapter on Stakes is particularly useful. The problem I have with the book is the usual one: that the book assumes that every reader (and the would-be writer reading this book) has more or less the same tastes. Some of the books held up as exemplary novels to learn from, I found appalling. Another problem is the attempt to please the avant-garde. An example is 'Nonlinear Narrative'. There is no discussion/evaluation of this experimental technique. Nor is there any mention of how few readers there are for such material. But that's okay, because the matter is immediately dropped after two pages anyway, and it's back to the thrillers again. Still, even when he's rehashing the same old ABCs, Maass does so in a lively way. So, beginning writers will certainly learn much from this book. And it is a valid point that Maass has not written a ¿breakout¿ novel himself, so how could this book tell us all we need to know to do it! It doesn¿t, but that does not mean that there isn¿t some useful information in the book. No serious writer should read only one book on writing. The only protection from the author's tastes is to read a variety of books--not as easy as it sounds because most of them have the same tastes and most say the same things in different words and with different examples.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2003

    Excellent Assistance for Writers

    This book is definitely worth reading for writers and aspiring writers. It doesn't just tell you what a reader is looking for in a great novel, it tells you *how* to give it to them. It's very readable, very informative, and filled withe examples and anecdotes. I was surprised by how truly helpful this book was.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)