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.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.78(d)|
Table of Contents
|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|
|Where to Go From Here|
|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|
|Creating High Human Worth|
|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|
|Real People vs. Larger-Than-Life Figures|
|What Makes a Character Larger-Than-Life?|
|The Highest Character Qualities|
|Building a Cast|
|Advanced Character Relationships|
|Sidekics and Narrators|
|Depth and Differentiation of Character|
|The Five Basic Plot Elements|
|What is the Worst That Can Happen?|
|High Moments, Turning Corners, Killing Characters|
|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|
|Tension on Every Page|
|Chapter 8||Multiple Viewpoints, Subplots, Pace, Voice, Endings||181|
|Multiple Points of View|
|Chapter 9||Advanced Plot Structures||199|
|Families, Groups, Generations|
|Linked Short Stories|
|Inventing Your Own Advanced Plot Structure|
|Having Something to Say|
|Step-by-Step Theme Building|
|Right and Wrong in the Novel|
|The Protagonist's Declaration of Purpose|
|What Makes a Theme Universal?|
|Chapter 11||Breaking Out||247|
|Agent and Editor|
|Breakout Publishing, Breakout Living|
|Success, Sequels, Series and Beyond|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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.
Worth every penny. Will take your writing to the next level.
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.
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!
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!!
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.
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.
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.