Read The Fire in Fiction: Passion, Purpose and Techniques to Make Your Novel Great by Donald Maass Online


Discover the Difference Between a So-So Manuscript and a Novel Readers Can't ForgetWe've all read them: novels by our favorite authors that disappoint. Uninspired and lifeless, we wonder what happened. Was the author in a hurry? Did she have a bad year? Has he lost interest altogether?Something similar is true of a great many unpublished manuscripts. They are okay storiesDiscover the Difference Between a So-So Manuscript and a Novel Readers Can't ForgetWe've all read them: novels by our favorite authors that disappoint. Uninspired and lifeless, we wonder what happened. Was the author in a hurry? Did she have a bad year? Has he lost interest altogether?Something similar is true of a great many unpublished manuscripts. They are okay stories that never take flight. They don't grip the imagination, let alone the heart. They merit only a shrug and a polite dismissal by agents and editors.It doesn't have to be that way. In The Fire in Fiction, successful literary agent and author Donald Maass shows you not only how to infuse your story with deep conviction and fiery passion, but how to do it over and over again. The book features:Techniques for capturing a special time and place, creating characters whose lives matter, nailing multiple-impact plot turns, making the supernatural real, infusing issues into fiction, and more.Story-enriching exercises at the end of every chapter to show you how to apply the practical tools just covered to your own work.Rich examples drawn from contemporary novels as diverse as The Lake House, Water for Elephants, and Jennifer Government to illustrate how various techniques work in actual stories.Plus, Maass introduces an original technique that any novelist can use any time, in any scene, in any novel, even on the most uninspired take the most powerful experiences from your personal life and turn those experiences directly into powerful fiction.Tap into The Fire in Fiction, and supercharge your story with originality and spark!...

Title : The Fire in Fiction: Passion, Purpose and Techniques to Make Your Novel Great
Author :
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ISBN : 9781582975061
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 272 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Fire in Fiction: Passion, Purpose and Techniques to Make Your Novel Great Reviews

  • V.
    2019-06-17 12:57

    Most of the information here is the standard stuff you would find in any good how-to book on writing. But there are also some innovative techniques that make a lot of sense and give a deeper understanding of how to make fiction work. The description of techniques is good, how other authors employ them is clearly chown, but how to use them in your own writing gets a bit woolly.This isn't surprising since he can't know the specifics of your story, but at times it felt too generic in its approach, the way an example of an equation in maths class seems straightforward, but ends up having little bearing on the questions in the text book once you start your homework at home.The most useful concept, in my opinion, was that of micro-tension. Every piece of dialogue or action or narrative needs to suggest more than basic facts and information. In order to do this you can simply adjust the tone of delivery to become slightly more antagonistic and that will create tension. For example:Jack stood at the bus stop. The buses arrived every 15 min and the journey to work took half an hour.In this example let's say you need to know about Jack's journey for later events to make sense. The information is straightforward exposition. However, you can add tension by doing something like this:Jack stood at the bus stop. Supposedly the buses came every 15 min but that was a joke. And they were always crammed full. Half an hour of sweaty armpits to look forward to.By creating a sense of dissatisfaction, even if it's within the character's own mind, we create conflict between the idea of the bus coming and his issues with the service. That's where the tension comes from, opposing ideas within a single thought. For more examples of how to use micro-tension go HERE.Overall a useful book for the serious aspiring author, although it does take some studying to get the best out of it.

  • Anonymous-9 Anonymous-9
    2019-05-30 13:48

    I love Donald Maass' take on writing and what makes a good book. (I also own WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL.) Maass discourages churning out pages which may result in a book, yes, but what's the quality? Like only the best editors, Maass pushes writers to push past "good" and strive for excellent. The introductory chapter with a section on "Status Seekers and Storytellers" holds up a mirror--reading it was a reality check. Maass cuts through the bulls*%!, which he describes as writers declaring, "The book wrote itself!" and gets down to the deconstruction of great stories. My favorite quote among many: "Storytellers look not to publishers to make them successful, but to themselves. They wonder how to top themselves with each new novel. Their grumbles are not about getting toured but about getting more time to deliver. Storytellers take calculated risks with their fiction. Mostly they try to make their stories bigger."

  • Suzanne
    2019-06-12 14:42

    I'm about halfway through the first draft of my novel, spinning my wheels in that notorious middle-plot wasteland where not enough is happening. I can see where the story needs to go (I do know the ending!), but I've lost my momentum. One of my characters is pointless, I'm overrun with backstory, and there are way too many scenes without tension. I realize it's a first draft and some crappiness is permitted at this point, but in trying to get myself out of the rut, I thought I'd finally give this book a shot. It's been on my shelf for ages and folks have told me it's great. Knowing that a lot of the exercises were revision-oriented, I planned to wait until the draft was complete, but I finally thought what the heck. I'm glad I didn't wait.I've already worked through Maass's exercises on character (very helpful!) and his chapter on micro-tension alone is worth the cover price. As with Writing the Breakout Novel, he shares numerous examples of writers doing it "right" (as usual, spoilers abound -- had to skip a few of these!). You get brief glimpses behind the curtain at his lit agency, too, as he mentions particular approaches to storytelling that cause everyone in the office to groan. ("Weather beginning!") I wouldn't say this book is a catch-all for problems with your novel, but there's some great food for thought here on how to keep a reader's (and literary agent's) attention.

  • Taka
    2019-05-27 08:12

    Bravo--Because Donald Maass's earlier book, Writing the Breakout Novel was so good, I was afraid of being let down by his newest and didn't even touch it for a while when it arrived in mail.What is he going to say that could be better? Is this going to be just a rehash of the old material in his earlier book?Doubts swirled, but I finally convinced myself to read it.What a ride. He goes well above and beyond my highest expectations. Compared to his earlier book, the book is more tightly organized and focused, and comes with tons of practical tools to energize your manuscript with - something his earlier book didn't have. He really goes in depth with the most important topics of writing fiction, and Chapter 8 on micro-tension alone is worth the price of the entire book in my opinion.It is extremely difficult to determine the cause from effects. What makes a good story? That is the million-dollar question I have been asking myself ever since I began writing seriously. I've read a fair number of books on writing but none of them seemed to do it for me. I groped further and read book after book, classic after classic in search of the holy grail of storytelling. But I couldn't figure it out. When I read Murakami, for example, I would lose myself in his world as if by magic and when I came back out of it, I could only say, "What the hell happened?"And it looks like Mr. Maass could be the Galahad I have been looking for as he has a theory on the secret workings of this magic of good fiction. If not, at least he gives us a key to unlocking the mystery of The Good Story.What's this key, this Holy Grail of Storytelling? That, my friends, you must find for yourself between the covers of this book.A must read for any serious fiction writer.

  • Sammy Sutton
    2019-06-13 16:12

    The Fire in FictionBy Donald MaassThis is not the type of book I normally post a review about on my Blog, but it is such a fabulous tool for writers, I just can’t pass up the opportunity. THE FIRE IN FICTION is a powerful guide to writing fiction. The author’s insight into the many styles and skill levels is simply uncanny.The format serves as a fantastic cover-to-cover read as well as a dynamic reference. Mr. Maass gives reason and definition to admirable style. In a short amount of text, he discusses ‘Hemingway-esque minimalism,’ as an unforgiving style that is misunderstood and rarely mastered. This concise detail is consistent throughout THE FIRE IN FICTION as the author tackles a multitude of issues authors face in their struggle to succeed. The guide begins with a memorable introduction that sheds light upon ‘the storyteller and the status seeker.’ Mr. Maas proceeds into one of my favorites, ‘Protagonists vs. Heroes’ from there he tackles issues of character voice and hyperreality. In each and every chapter he simplifies issues often complicated by others.Writers and authors, I highly recommend this guide. It is simply an invaluable tool. On a scale of 1 to 5 stars, I give this guide a 6 star review.

  • Margo Berendsen
    2019-06-17 10:05

    My favorite writing book is Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott, but now Birdy will have to share the #1 spot. Bird by Bird and the Fire in Fiction are both about writing but cover completely different things. Bird is about the writing life, getting your first draft down, how to keep your butt in the chair, why you should aways keep paper and pen in your back pocket. Fire is about specifics. You've got your first draft done. Even your second or third draft. But it's still not getting interest. The Fire in Fiction skips the basics, such as hook and point of view. It goes much deeper. It teaches you how to keep your readers reading after the hook. Want to make your protagonist more memorable? Even harder, want to make your secondary characters more memorable? "Special-ness comes not from a character but from their impact on the protagonist. What are the details that measure their impact? How specific can you make them?"The books that cover the basics teach you that your book is built on scenes and all scenes worth their weight need conflict and must move the plot forward. This book digs deeper and talks about inner and outer turning points in each scene. Maass uses the analogy about how action scenes in movies are planned and shot in detailed frames. He shows you how to rewind and fast-forward through the scenes and how to use oblique angles to heighten effect (and we are talking writing here, not just camera work). Oh and don't forget the tornado effect - that's a powerful device. Sorry you'll have to read the book to find out what it is. The book provides excellent exercises, broken down step-by-step, for how to accomplish things like: - stripping down dialogue to heighten conflict. - Make setting become its own character. - How to link details and emotions. - Develop a character's voice. Experiment with narrative voice. - The extra steps you can take (you MUST take) to make a real antagonist. - Three different techniques to help your reader suspend disbelief (if you are writing fantasy, SF or thrillers). - There's even a chapter on developing humor and satireWhat you won't find: plot structure - the excellent three act structure or hero's journey structure. Save the Cat by Blake Snyder is next on my list for that. (I also recommend the Writer's Journey for this). Here's an example of a step in an exercise that I just picked at random:"Create three hints in this scene that your protaonist or point-of-view character will get what he wants. Build three reasons to believe that he won't get what he wants."The last two chapters are the very best of all. What's the secret to unstoppable page turning? It's NOT action. What? No really. It's micro-tension. Don't know what that is exactly? Maybe you can guess what it is, and are curious about how to implement it? This is a MUST READ.And the last chapter, simply titled "The fire in fiction". All the chapters give you fuel for a good hot fire, but this last chapter is the fire itself. This one blew me away. I'd love to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you. No seriously, get this book (after you feel like you've mastered the basics). Buy it, because you'll want to keep it on your desk for constant reference. Make a rule that no other book ever gets placed on top of it. I really think it's that good.

  • Luis
    2019-06-08 15:51

    As aspiring writer one can feel overwhelmed with the amount of available books about how to become a successful writer. The true is : there is no magical recipe and after a few readings about the matter, you are going to realize the best way to start to write your own fiction is reading the masters and also a few non memorable writers (is always useful to have examples about how not to write). The challenge here is to identify how those writers achieve the pages we enjoy and admire. The fire in fiction by Donald Mass excels showing us how writers do it. He show us some passages and explain with detail how they handle dramatic and comic effects, voices and other fiction devices that enrich novels. The author , who is a Literary agent, seems to be focused on advice us about how to made our manuscripts acceptable for publishing. In the book’s introduction he distinguish two kind of writers: the status seekers and storytellers and after finish the book definitely I want to be a storyteller.Just a warning: this is a book for someone who already started to write and have a manuscript to work on. At the end of each chapter there is a set of exercises to be applied on our manuscripts. If you are looking for advice about how to start to write I would recommend another book such as the Gotham writers’ Workshop: Writing fiction.[]

  • Conrad Zero
    2019-06-14 10:45

    I only wish I could give it more stars. For the most part, the topics here are advanced. If you don't have a grip on things like plot, P.O.V., passive writing, and when to show/tell, then you might want to work your way up to this book. But I have no doubts the ideas here will help make anyone's fiction writing better.

  • Elaine Cunningham
    2019-05-30 10:58

    I often find it helpful to read a book about craft of writing when I'm in the middle of a project. This book was just what I needed at this point it time; it helped me articulate the core idea/value/takeaway in my novel-in-progress. Highly recommended!

  • Justin
    2019-06-22 15:49

    The Fire in Fiction offers a good amount of knowledge on improving one's writing from the perspective of a literary agent. The book covers 9 chapters: Protagonists vs. HeroesCharacters Who MatterScenes That Can't Be CutThe World of the NovelA Singular VoiceMaking the Impossible RealHyperrealityTension All the TimeThe Fire in Fiction Maass provides plenty of examples from bestselling authors to support his points. Most of the advice in here isn't necessarily a "how to write", but larger ideas to apply to your own fiction writing. Maass provides Practical Tools Exercises after each chapter to work on and summarize the main points. This isn't the best writing book I've read, but it's worth checking out. And if there's only one take away I learned from this book it's to have something to say that is unique to you when you write.

  • Wendy
    2019-06-12 08:04

    Not the usual writing manual--this book is ideal for writers who have a complete manuscript, but still want to "punch it up". Author Donald Maass is a well-known literary agent, so as far as marketing fiction goes, there are few more knowledgeable sources. He draws examples from a wide range of fiction, from thrillers and sci-fi to Don DeLillo and Andre Dubus. Chapters cover microtension, dialogue that moves, and other techniques to entice a reader to hang on every word of your 500 page magnum opus--and each feature exercises drawing from your own manuscript (I didn't do them, since this was a library book, but I've earmarked some in my brain and plan to apply them!)

  • Tasha Seegmiller
    2019-05-27 15:49

    I have been a fan of articles written by Maass, but this is the first of his craft books that I have read. From the beginning I was hooked. Maass discusses nuances in different genres as well as techniques within the text itself that is often misused in the way writers try to convey emotion, tension and the like. I was blown away by this book. There were some sample texts I skimmed as they aren't pertinent to what I write, but the exercises at the end of each chapter I will visit time and again. Brilliant tool.*content warning - some of the samples contain strong language.

  • Bryan
    2019-06-19 12:07

    I loved this book. An eye opener to be sure. I especially appreciate how each technique has an example from a real work of fiction that uses the technique well. Coming to a scene with a character's motivation, emotional mindset, etc. is highly transformative for a writer. Thank you Mr. Maass for your incredible insights into the work and process of writing superior fiction.

  • Joyce Magnin
    2019-06-16 09:46

    Micro Tension!

  • Cathy
    2019-06-16 07:51

    Terrific craft book

  • Crystal
    2019-06-06 15:59

    This stays on my shelf to pull out over and over again. Definitely a book that a writer needs.

  • Koen Wellens
    2019-06-23 13:55

    You can see that Donald Maass knows what he talks about. He’s reviewed many manuscripts and quotes a lot of books in this masterpiece. He tries to teach you good techniques by showing how other authors use them. Each chapter has bonus exercises that you can use to improve your own work.Fun fact: Donald Maass quotes Jim Butcher, John Scalzi and other writers that I’m a fan of. He points out why I like their books, even though I implicitly knew it. Now I know explicitly.Read the full review at my blog.

  • Sharon Hughson
    2019-06-14 14:12

    It took a LONG time to get through this book. Not because there were so many exercises to help me improve my writing (there were, but I didn’t do them). The voice and style just didn’t speak to me.In the end, the message from this famous agent and writing teacher: “To your own voice and message be true.”Which has me off on a journaling quest to determine a fresh way to share what’s important to me with readers.

  • Jeff Stautz
    2019-06-04 13:01

    A few decent sections highlighting what Maas calls "microtension," but the rest of the book lacks substance. Loaded down by hundreds of examples (some of them not even very good) that barely help explain the topic. Horribly edited/proofread as well, with some hilariously bad typos. Don't bother.

  • LN
    2019-05-30 08:02

    There were parts of this book that I believe will really help my writing. The examples were easy to follow (and sometimes caused me to add those books to my "to read" list), and the book was well organized.

  • Brenda Clark Thomas
    2019-06-03 15:55

    Another good book by the master, Donald Maass. Definitely worth looking at.

  • C.M. Bacon
    2019-06-01 15:04

    Always helpfulI like being able to pick up a book and have it remind me why I write. Lots of good examples and practical techniques.

  • Jack Swanzy
    2019-06-14 14:10

    moves the ball down the field

  • J.L. Dobias
    2019-06-04 15:59

    I found The Fire in Fiction to be helpful only in delineating things I've previously discovered and wished I'd known earlier. Perhaps it even has helped me hone in on the target in some areas I tend to slack off in and I would have loved to have read this five years ago before I did all the research that helped me see the targets the first time.What it is most insightful of is that it encompasses the mind of a literary agent and what this one likes and expects from his authors. And perhaps some bit of unintentional verification of something I have long suspected. They really do like purple prose as long as it is purple prose that helps develop the unique character that is integral to the story. There's a lot of it in these example that he critiques.That leads us to the problem that resides in the pages. This book is a serial compilation of critiques or reviews of what appear to be this authors favorite authors. And I would agree with others that it serves little purpose other than to pat the backs of these authors and fill the pages. Much of what is said here could be condensed and I would expect that to be the first thing that would be recognized by a literary agent when editing this whether it is self edited or otherwise. ( and it would be insane to self edit in this context).Something that would have been helpful is examples of what went wrong amidst all the what went right.And at least twice we were told certain things could not be covered here as they would take too much time and space which becomes ridiculous when one considers that 100 pages of this could have been eliminated by narrowing down all of the favorable reviews.The reason I gave this four stars is that it doesn't deserve five and I am taking enough out of it to rate it higher than three.I definitely recommend this to any author as a refresher on what works for some of this agents favorite writers. There is much to take away and I would also recommend it to the Forums and writers groups who always claim they are helping each other meet the requirements of an agent. This might help them focus a bit on the real as opposed to their preconceived notions.It's also engaging and entertaining despite the bloat of examples.J.L. Dobias

  • Richard Good
    2019-06-09 14:44

    As a hopeful writer, I've been looking a long time for "just the right inspiration" to get me moving, and I suspect I am not alone. I'm sure that what I'm really looking for is something to make me quit playing the procrastination game. While Donald Maass' "The Fire in Fiction" contains advice that is similar to other writing-instruction manuals, it did have something that linked to a standard recommendation from similar books: If you want to know how to write well, read great examples. From this principle, coupled with the inspiration from Donald Maass (his "micro tension" concept is great!), I have come up with a personal challenge to help get me motivated and keep me moving.The categories within "The Fire in Fiction" are constructed around a hundred samplings of published fiction, much of which comes from today's main-stream authors. Wanting to get the full benefit of this widely varied collection of writers, I went through Maass' book and made a complete list of the novels from which he drew excerpts. Over the past few months, while trying to keep my adventure economical, I have been scouring local used book stores and bringing home bags of fictional work ranging from the supernatural to the historical. Each title is right out of Maass' list. The only hard part now is choosing every few days which book to read next.Thanks to "The Fire in Fiction", words are finally making their way from my mind to the page. I have been enjoying my new and eclectic assortment of novels, some more than others, but each one creating a different spark of inspiration for my writing. My plan is to continue finding as many of the novels as possible and writing reviews as I go, hence my joining the world of Goodreads. This helps fulfill the next basic principle of becoming a writer: write something...anything...but write something every day. Goodreads will be a place to go when inspiration is hard to find.In each of my reviews, I will make reference to "The Fire in Fiction", how it connects with the novel I've read, and how it helps me in the challenge I have made for myself. We'll see how it goes!

  • Ben Campbell
    2019-06-15 10:02

    Here is a sharp point that will stick you in the temple, capture you in a head-lock and coerce you to reassess your imaginative writing skills! If you think you can write, have chapped fingertips from chasing the keyboard and haven't been published yet...if you've had friends, relatives, neighbors, co-workers, mates or spouses or children read your stories or manuscript without telling you it stinks, needs a nuclear work-over, has incomplete sentences, little originality, lacks curiosity and boring suicidal and inconsequential, then you might have an interesting story.Simply put, what the hell do you want to say to me. The Fire In Fiction explains what you should not write and what you should probably write that will save the world, that will make us readers belly-laugh and cry, scream with excitement and try to fly.If you want me to remember nothing else in the world, what would you have me recall when I close your novel? Identify IT NOW!. Make it LOUD! Put to paper that which is burning in your HEART! You want me to remember YOU, the WRITER, the INNOVATOR, the SCULPTURE of plotting, tension, characterizations and story...a story with morals if you will, catch phrases, sexuality, spirituality, politics, childhood angst, philanthropy, homosexuality, adulthood angst, pets, cultural heritage, social irresponsibility, schizophrenia, historical relevance, death, dying, living, women, men, boys, girls, gender identity, transgender complications, galaxy exploration, murder, bugs, monsters, devils, gods...make me remember YOU, the WRITER. Stab me in the heart with you ideas, slap me silly with your involvement, kiss me deeply with your verve, your tell of survival. When YOU come through on the pages, YOU will be a true storyteller.The Fire in Fiction will help you get there.

  • David Fuller
    2019-06-07 09:57

    More good advice from Don Maass on improving your novel. I've enjoyed his other books as well, particularly since they are full of concrete techniques to improve your fiction.In this one he makes an interesting distinction when asking the reader why you want to write that novel: do you want to get published? Or do you want to write a great book? THe two are not mutually exclusive, of course, but he argues that if you're dead set on publishing, you'll be more likely to aim for a novel that's "good enough" -- ie.,, you'll seek to polish the manuscript to the extent that it's "ready" by publishing standards and then send it out. However, if you're set on making the novel the best it can be, you'll look deeper and really push your novel to be more than you thought it could be. That, he argues, is what it takes to make your novel stand out.When I first started writing with a view to publishing books, I was definitely in the "get it published" category. It's taken many years for me to come around to the "make it better than I thought possible" philosophy, but I am convinced of it now.In any case, Maass's book has plenty of techniques to enrich your novel -- one of the most dynamic and useful is his "tension on every page" advice. Writers know conflict is what keeps a story interesting, but Maass breaks it down so that everything is a source of some kind of tension, or "micro-tension," as he calls it. No two characters are ever in 100 per cent agreement; no character is 100 per cent committed to one thing only; and many more ways of making sure the story doesn't grind to a halt.He also pays special attention to developing a good villain/antagonist, and getting away from the boring, one-dimensional bad guy that bores readers.I'd highly recommend this book as well as his other titles, Writing the Breakout Novel and Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook.

  • Wesley Fox
    2019-06-01 09:06

    Fire in Fiction is informative, easy-to-read, has plenty of examples, and lays out a good starting point for people who want to be novelists. There are dozens of excerpts from numerous bestselling books from the past few decades, providing credibility as well as Donald Maass's own authority as a longtime literary agent.There's no course you can take on writing and selling novels in college. If there is somewhere, it is probably worthless. For a young wannabe-author, it is hard to take advice or instruction from someone who has never herself wrote a bestseller. It is an unfair and unrealistic expectation, but it is natural. No matter what profession, you want to learn from the people that have a record of success. They've walked the walk.Donald Maass promotes authors and sells manuscripts to publishers for a living. He's done fairly well. As far as I know he isn't a bestselling author of anything though. His experience and his advice is mostly on how to get a book sold to a publisher, but there's also plenty of general advice on how to perfect your craft.Everyone has a different opinion on what makes a great novel, but I believe there are always eternal truths to any profession, techniques, tricks, and other such things that you learn through experience and by listening to people smarter than you.Some of Maass's examples are just plain bad. He defends them, saying upfront that they are just his favorites, but also favorites that have gone on to become successful novels. Some of the excerpts were bad, and some techniques seem corny to me, that I would never use them. At the same time, there were plenty that were obvious techniques that any creative writer would know after a couple English courses.Overall, majority of the pointers were helpful.

  • Steve Shea
    2019-06-25 13:11

    NOTE: This is a book about how to write books, by a literary agent. I don't think writing about that constitutes a SPOILER, but if you don't want to read a dust-jacket-level synopsis of The Fire in Fiction, then stop reading here. Still with me? Cool. I hope you read the book, too. Although it's worth reading from start to finish (and I savored it, spreading the first three chapters over a year), Maass' advice in The Fire in Fiction boils down pretty neatly to something like this:Use multiple characters' inner conflicts to generate and explain their passion, and readers' interest. He approaches this from numerous lenses, including setting, protagonists, description, antagonists, and supporting characters. After about the fifth chapter, the pattern of his recommendations hit me. (I had read a lot of other books while reading the first three chapters, and then read the remaining chapters during the course of a weeklong vacation, when I had time to concentrate.) He's certainly passionate about budding writers' ability to generate interest through tension. Maass includes several exercises for each of his chapters. I did two quickly, and found them very helpful. I plan to do them all, probably more than once. They are about developing skills, but also about improving specific scenes and passages. When I returned from vacation, I got back into the audiobook I use to dull the pain of commuting. It's Sharpe's Company<?i> by Bernard Cornwell. I immediately heard him describing things in exactly the way Maass recommended to raise interest and tension. I had enjoyed Cornwell's book up to that point, but I finally started to understand why.

  • Mia Storey
    2019-05-29 11:09

    what makes a character worthy of being a hero, or becoming the primary protagonist in the novel you write? When an author discovers what makes these characters extraordinary, then it's possible you may have the makings of a potential Breakout Novel! But it doesn't stop here. There is much more work to be done to create that "Unputdownable Book".The reader must become emersed in the life of your protagonist. (Maass uses examples of protagonists within the pages of many books he's read over the years to make his case.) The protagonist must change in some way,(physically, emotionally or both) These changes are the buds of the growing internal and external conflicts your protagonist must experience within your book, if you truly want to take your reader on a journey inside the world of your novel. To make this world believeable to the reader, an author must take the time to build the world these characters eat, breathe, live, work, sleep and play in. The secondary characters are just as important as the protagonists. They can be the protagonist's sounding board, help to keep them out of danger, etc. The most important thing an author should remember, is when they put secondary characters in their novel, to not let them fade into the background. They have the important mission of helping to propel the story along. The exercises at the end of each chapter are very helpful, and by the end of the book you should be well on your way to producing that "unputdownable" book! Highly recommended! You may want to begin with his first two books: Writing the Breakout Novel, and it's accompanying Workbook of the same name.