Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook

Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook

by Donald Maass


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781582972633
Publisher: F+W Media
Publication date: 06/14/2004
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 311,458
Product dimensions: 8.40(w) x 10.70(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Part ICharacter Development
1From Protagonist to Hero8
Exercise: Adding Heroic Qualities12
2Multidimensional Characters14
Exercise: Opening Extra Character Dimensions18
3Inner Conflict19
Exercise: Creating Inner Conflict24
4Larger-Than-Life Character Qualities25
Exercise: Creating Larger-Than-Life Qualities31
5Heightening Larger-Than-Life Qualities33
Exercise: Adjusting the Volume35
6Character Turnabouts and Surprises36
Exercise: Reversing Motives38
7Personal Stakes40
Exercise: Defining Personal Stakes48
8Ultimate Stakes50
Exercise: Capturing the Irrevocable Commitment54
Exercise: Deepening Exposition59
10Creating Secondary Characters60
Exercise: Secondary Character Development64
Exercise: Developing the Antagonist69
Exercise: The Antagonist's Outline71
12Enriching Your Cast73
Exercise: Combining Roles76
Part IIPlot Development
13Public Stakes80
Exercise: Raising Public Stakes86
Exercise: Making Complications Active91
15Plot Layers93
Exercise: Building Plot Layers97
16Weaving a Story99
Exercise: Weaving Plot Layers Together104
Exercise: Adding Subplots109
18Turning Points111
Exercise: Heightening Turning Points115
19The Inner Journey117
Exercise: Inner Turning Points120
20High Moments122
Exercise: Creating High Moments127
21Bridging Conflict129
Exercise: Developing Bridging Conflict132
22Low Tension Part I: The Problem With Tea134
Exercise: Brewing Tension139
23Low Tension Part II: Burdensome Backstory141
Exercise: Delaying Backstory146
24Low Tension Part III: Tension on Every Page148
Exercise: Adding Tension to Every Page152
Part IIIGeneral Story Techniques
25First Lines/Last Lines156
Exercise: Enhancing First and Last Lines161
26Moments in Time163
Exercise: Freezing Moments in Time168
27Inner Change170
Exercise: Measuring Inner Change174
Exercise: The Psychology of Place180
29Point of View182
Exercise: Strengthening Point of View185
30Character Delineation187
Exercise: Improving Character Delineation191
Exercise: Alternate Endings200
Exercise: The Larger Problem202
Exercise: Same Problem, Other Characters204
Exercise: Making the Antagonist's Case206
Exercise: Creating Symbols211
Exercise: Developing Brainstorming Skills217
34The Pitch218
Exercise: Constructing the Pitch223
Appendix AOutlining Your Novel225
Appendix BFollow-up Work Checklist228

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Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a true novel-building workbook: you write descriptions directly into the book in response to his questions. It is a great adjunct to the book 'Writing the Breakout Novel.' The workbook helped me explore my characters, setting, plot, etc. in a way that would not have otherwise occurred to me. I'm getting good responses from the readers who are reading my novel and I just ordered a new workbook for my second novel.
ChuckB on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Donald Maass is a star agent that all writers are clamoring to work with. He represents over 100 writers, who together sell more than 100 books per year. I've seen presentations by him on writing effective query letters and on editing your manuscript, and he is first class all the way. A gifted speaker, presenter and agent. Buy this book, and the text that goes with it!
McGrewc on LibraryThing 7 months ago
The follow up to Donald's book of the same name. If you can only afford one go for the workbook, but both are must haves.
PacificBlue on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I got this workbook before realising there was actually a book beforehand, but there was enough information contained within to make the whole thing work standalone. I read this from cover to cover as I was planning a novel, and each area really made me stop and think, meaning I achieved the planning well enough to allow me to achieve the first draft in one month, of 150,000 words, with no loose plots etc. I now plan to use Wriing the Breakout Novel Workbook when tackling the first (and probably second) edit of the novel I wrote, actually doing most of the exercises systematically when needed. Donald Maass' inclusions of example passages from what he considers breakout novels also meant I became aware of quite a few novels I would want to read myself. And I went out and bought three of them, and have since read them. I liked this Workbook a lot, and would recommend it to many new writers contemplating fiction novels.
RebeccaE on LibraryThing 7 months ago
The exercises in this book are excellent. If you already have a rough draft of a novel, and are looking to deepen your characters, plots and themes, this book will help you with specific exercises.Each writing exercise is preceded by a section explaining why the exercise is important, and includes examples from "breakout" novels. Unfortunately, most of the examples are dreadful. I got so sick of reading excerpts of mystery novels and thrillers, most of them involving men avenging the murder/rape of their girlfriends, wives and daughters that I finally skipped the expository sections and went ahead and did the exercises. It's too bad he uses the examples he does, because Maas' exercises do a wonderful job of helping you deepen your characters and plot as well as help you figure out what should be scrapped. I can think of plenty of good novels which would have illustrated his points much better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Powerful - helps me dig right into my own book. Really helpful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago