Now, you don't have to purchase and read and pore over and study and memorize every how-to-write book there is. You just have to find one that inspires you and teaches you--one that you absorb like a sponge. How to Write the Breakout Novel promises to help you "take your fiction to the next level." It did for me. Considering I started at level zero--all I had was a desire and an idea. Today I have two completed (not-yet-published) novels, and ideas--solid ideas--for two historical trilogies and a contemporary stand alone. I'll be delving into Maass's book and workbook again.
Maass writes in a straightforward style that gets straight to the point. He uses lots of examples to show you what he means (show-don't-tell), and he challenges you to take these concepts and apply them to your work-in-progress.
The book contains 11 chapters, plus an introduction. He deals with story premise, stakes, time and place, characters, plot, contemporary plot techniques, multiple viewpoints, subplots, pace, voice, endings, advanced plot structures, and theme. The final chapter is appropriately titled, "Breaking Out." Everything you need to know about writing a novel in one, 264-page book.
From the back cover:
Maass details the elements that all breakout novels share--regardless of genre--then shows you writing techniques that can make your 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
Investing in books to build your professional library is as vital to your writing as watering, feeding, and cultivating your garden. Writing the Breakout Novel and the accompanying workbook are two you definitely want in your library.
*Click here to find out what else happened at that conference by reading my friend and fellow Novel Bud Melanie's Rigney's blog on her new website. And while you're there, do explore her new site. It's soooo Melanie!