[Writing the Breakout Novel] Read á Donald Maass
Ering Does she or doesn t she She does This isn t always welcomePROS Has some decent universally applicable advice One of is best bits of advice often repeated is that many other books Le Gratin des champignons: Portraits mycologiques have been written on insert writing topic Perhaps you should read those Maybe that s advice you can follow without bothering to plunk down 999 for this book Maas title is corny It s so corny that I might neverave ordered it in the first place if I Applied Mycology and Biotechnology Agriculture and Food Production hadn t won a gift certificate to Writers Digest books It sounds like a writingack s ow to book I assure you it s anything butFirst off Maas is a top literary agent in New York He is also the author of uite a few pseudonymous novels 14 as of 2001 probably now but since I don t know what is pseudonym is I can t check He s made a successful career out of Parcours mythologique dans les jardins de Versailles his studies on this topic and whate s written is not so much The Quest for Valhalla (Order of the Black Sun how to write a breakout novel as it isow to write a novel worth readingMaas knows that what drives book sales is word of mouth recommendations but what inspires word of mouth Read 21st Century New Openings his book to seeow well your book will do and what needs to change to make it better I can t recommend Writing the Breakout Novel The Light is the Darkness highly enough to aspiring novelistsIn fact I think I ll make aabit of re reading it every time I m about to start working on a new novel myself 2 stars for generalities not enough specifics 4 stars for some good ideas that are probably found in most writing booksAUTHOR IDEAS I LIKED the past perfect tense and its evil facilitator the word Malin Kundang had will always rob a scene of its vital immediacy Even though we need to learn about events thatave already Vectors happened the author keeps the action always in the present Itas impact that way p143Maass encourages combining roles as in the lifelong friend who is also a doctor or the ex spouse who is also a tennis partner p127 Most of us do not for very long tolerate people who make us feel frustrated sad Good to Go: The Life and times of a Decorated Member of the U.S. Navy's Elite Seal Team Two hopeless or depressed not in life not in books p 105 Every protagonist needs a torturous need a consuming fear an aching regret a visible dream a passionate longing an inescapable ambition an exuisite lust an inner lack a fatal weakness an unavoidable obligation an iron instinct an irresistible plan a noble ideal an undyingopewhatever it is that in the end propels Navy SEAL Justice Covert Cowboys Inc him beyond the boundaries that confine the rest of us and brings about fulfilling change p77MY FAVORITE PART ualities that we ordinarily associate with greatness vision insightigh intelligence leadership accomplishment wisdom to name a few If you were to construct a character that embodied all of those ualities Officer and a Gentleman however you would wind up with someone about whom it is not very interesting to read Why Because there is nothing left to discover nothing unresolved about such a paragon Accomplishment already accomplished does notold our attention Striving to attain the impossible though is a struggle from which we cannot take our eyes Do you watch the Olympics on TV Who does not Do you still care what The Necromancer's Dilemma happens to the bronze medal winner a month or two after the closing ceremony No Who does p110MAASS ADMIRES THE FOLLOWING BOOK I IMMENSELY DISLIKED ITMaass considers Jennifer Crusie s Tell Me Lies a breakout novel I gave it 1 star At one point I was so angry I wanted to throw the book I did not like it for two reasons 1eroine stupidity The A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 heroine did at least five stupid things One of them was seeing a murder weapon touching it and puttinger fingerprints on it 2 The Hume heroine lied too much The lies were not interesting or entertaining They made me dislikeerSo what did Maass like about Tell Me Lies The following which was too general and not specific enough Maddie s new boyfriend is an accountant Crusie chooses that profession for Nehru's India Select Speeches herero not only to give El poder de Lady Wifi! (Miraculous [Prodigiosa Ladybug]. Cmic) him conflicting sides but to enhanceer theme of accountabilityCrusie uses was it love high moments and deathhas a number of interconnected plot layersThe fun of the novel though lies in the middle It is the sexualeat between Maddie and CL as well as Maddie s larger than life outlook that brings the story to breakout level The plot layers A Very Private Gentleman help So do the many distinctive characters and their interwoven destinies p 221Maass comments I wasn t feeling them I ve read 12 Crusie books I gave 5 stars to three of them But this book got 1 star Iave a Processing Syntax and Morphology hard time using this book as a standard for other authorsMANY SUGGESTIONS WERE NOT SPECIFIC ENOUGHMaassas an exercise for the author to determine theme Ok so the author figures out the theme then what Maass doesn t say what to do with it or why a theme is necessary I believe Stephen King does not use themes when planning what to write because a theme is necessary I believe Stephen King does not use themes when planning what to write because does not plan is plots Following is a uote from Stephen King s book On Writing I plot as little as possible Plotting and the spontaneity of real creation are
not compatible situation comes first and then watchcompatible Situation comes first and then watch appens as the characters try to work themselves out of it Most of the time the outcome is something I never expected Personally I don t like artificial cliff A DIY Guide for All Things Natural Hair: Discover Homemade Conditioner and Hair Rinse Recipes for Your Crowning Glory hangers at the end of scenes Maass names some popular authors who use cliffangers and then says Cliff Once Dishonored hangers may be clunky but can all these authors be wrong about them Clearly notFalse success at the end of a scene also suggests a coming disaster Readers are wise to certain authorial tricks A rise is likely to precipitate a fall p193 I don t understand those last three sentences stated together this way Instead of clarifying the next sentence after these is about another subject It s the following What if youave no idea about your novel s pacing Do not worry You cannot go too far wrong if your focal character is strong your central conflict is clear and established early and the main plotline always strides forward and is rarely than a scene or two away Work with solid plot fundamentals in this way and your story probably will maintain its drive of its own accord p193 These phrases sound good but they are not specific enoughMaass mentions a book What ties it together is not plot but a powerful framework provided by a young woman s yearning p223 My thought How does an author know if she Africans away from home Essays and policy studies has a powerful framework Breakout novelists are willing to experiment reverse direction throw out large chunks of manuscript add length in short do whatever it takes to wrestle the many interwoven elements of a large scale novel into shapeBreakout novels sprawl If not long they generally are lavish in other ways depth of character setting detail theme and so on p225 How does this tell an author what they need to do It sounds like they need an editor to tell them what to throw add etc In contemporary stories of breakout caliber a sense of theistorical moment is also captured What makes our time this very moment in Hired Gun Hired Gun history similar to or different from any other As I am sure you can anticipate the answer once again lies in your characters perceptions of these things p 88 Your characters live in an era but which one And in what stage of its life Find the moments in the story that delineate that distinction detail them from a prevailing point of view and you will be on your way to enhancing your novel with a sense of the times p 91 breakout novelists employ many approaches to setting but allave one element in common detail A setting cannot live unless it is observed in its pieces and particulars A place is the sum of its parts The emotions that it evokes are most effective when they are specific better still when they are uniue p 97DATABook length 260 pages Swearing language none Sexual content none Copyright 2001 Genre nonfiction Second Edition of a Report on the Geology and Natural Resources of the Area Included by the Nipissing and Timiskaming Map Sheets how to writeOTHER BOOKSFor excellent books on the craft of writing consider the following I gave 5 stars to both of themStein on Writing A Master Editor shares His Craft Techniues and Strategies by Sol SteinOn Writing A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King 1 The writing in this book is marvelous By that I mean the style is smooth sophisticated and flowing It makes me guess that the craft of writing must really be valued at Donald Maass s literary agency Yay 2 The level of literary knowledge is off the charts Donald pulls in so many examples from so many novels it ll make you dizzy I ve read a millionow t0 write a novel books Most are in the ra ra I already knew that category This one was The biggest thing I took away fro. Tain a igh degree of narrative tension from start to finish develop an inspired premise that sets your novel apart from the competitionThen 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 care. Re I find yet another book on writing or some aspect I find to be utterly indispensible I must ave themI m not going to talk about Diary Journal of David Brainerd how many writing books Iave Let s just say A fewHowever there are only a few books I would recommend to people A lot of the books I ve purchased are Well they tend to repeat the same things over and over again Just in different waysThis one does not In fact Writing the Breakout Novel Cyril Lignac Coffret en 2 volumes : Tome 1, Cuisine attitude ; Tome 2, Gnration chef has a TON of information you don t see in other writing books Why Iave no idea but this information feels like the information I Anatomie de l'horreur 2 have tried to findThis is a MUST READ for any writer fiction or nonfictionDonald Maass is a literary agent yes one of those people we all would love toave represent us In fact True Crime Addict he represents some of the big names in the industry Robert McCammon Anne Perry Elizabeth Bear You can find a list ofis clients on Business Networks in Syria his webpageAnd this book is a book EVERY writer needs toave on Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality hisher shelfMaass takes a look at breakout novels the novels that get their author s names about and dissects them for their uniue attributes What makes a novel great This book tells you what this agent thinks using examples from contemporary works as well asis own years of experience reading submission after submissionHe tells us what ideas that beginning novelists like to use and then proceeds to tell us why it usually doesn t work He gives us alternatives to these ideas as well as showing when they actually MIGHT work and Sheltie at the Funfair how successful authors used themThe examples Maass uses are from many different types of novels including both genre and literary fiction Yep there are spoilers for the books but we re not really reading for pleasure are we I m making a list of the books and categorizing them into books I want to read in order to study what the authoras done I probably won t read them all but the ones that stand out for me I ll be all overMaass as also published a workbook to compliment this book It includes examples as well as exercises to incorporate Maass s ideas and thoughts into your novel I ll be using this and The Fire in Fiction Passion Purpose and Techniues to Make Your Novel Great to work on making my current WIP better than ever I ll probably use it also to go back and elp flesh out my NaNoWriMo novel from 2008 as wellI m also a graduate of Holly Lisle s How to Think Sideways class as well as er How to Revise Your Novel class I think Maass s work will be a substantial source of information to elp me along my journeyI m glad I bought this book and I ll be using it MUCH than most of my others WARNING The plot formulas exposed and lauded in this book can be toxic May lead to dizziness fits of cynicism and paroxysms Do not take this product if you Beyond Buds: Marijuana ExtractsHash, Vaping, Dabbing, Edibles and Medicines harbor unrealistic expectations about what sort of books the American book buying public actually consumes Do not read if you are offended by the notion that trite adolescent writing and conventional morality may be the most sellable commodity in today s literary marketplace Do not take if you are allergic to any of the followingMichael CrichtonJohn GrishamTom ClancyChicken Soup of the Anything If after reading you are seized by the sudden urge to write aighly commercial techno thriller take with John Gardner s On Becoming a Novelist and EM Forrester s Aspects of the Novel If problem persists write twenty non rhyming couplets on the intellectual anguish of Dannemora having to watch Sex in the City then read Shakespeare s CoriolanusIn shortA fantastic wake up call and a manual onow to write crass ighly sellable fiction Maass effectively and succinctly answers that most nagging of author gripes ow does this garbage get on the best seller list He knows Nuclear Power: A Very Short Introduction his stuff which is what makes this book so terrifying In the year 2000 Maass saysMiddle eastern terrorists are not likely to attack us This is an implausible plot for a thriller Look me in the eye and repeat that at the end of 2001 DonaldA global financial crisis wouldn t affect people enough to be the topic of a thriller So what if Wall Streetas a bad day or even a VERY bad day I ll check back with you when the unemployment and foreclosure rate is skyrocketing in 2008 Mr MaassConspiracies make a bad topic for a thriller so too do the so called treasure Nymph Fly Tying Techniues hunt stories This just a few years before The Davinci Code which basically combines the two came out and made millionsThen youave the long section on The Great Pianists: From Mozart to the Present how e readers will neverave an effect on the paper publishing business People don t want e readers Maass sniffs because they don t offer anything superior to reading it on paper There will never be a magic revolution
Wherein Authors Can Skipauthors can skip publishing Les derniers jours : La fin de l'empire romain d'Occident houses and directly put their works up for ebooks so stop wishing for it I guess in 2000 that felt like a safe thing to think In 2013 I was readingim make this declaration ON MY KINDLE So yeah it was a little Loveland hard to take seriouslyI was bothered not just by these types of predictions which are in some sense understandable But early in the booke a literary agent talks about a book Little Tree he got auge nearly million dollar advance for praising it as an example of the kind of book Aliran Politik Dan Aidah Dalam Islam he willelp you learn to write He claims that Guide de l'employeur culturel he read the manuscript and saw a clear turning point where the author was maturing and transcendingis earlier workLooking at its sales on in 2013 it Der Heimliche Fürstensohn has a sales ranking of 1000000 meaning one million books are placing above it and an average review of 2 12 stars out of 5 The author s fans consistently said This isn t as good asis prior books Admittedly it s a kind of old book 13 years later but ranking at the 1000000 level is still bad for a professionally published book If this is the kind of book Science and Democracy he s going to teach us to writeated by the author s fans as a turning point into being worse and disappointing in sales well So that was a big turnoff to me as well Donald Maass and the book s readers both agreed this Strength Training for Basketball (Strength Training for Sport) highly touted novel was a turning point The problem The guy promising to teach you to write like this thought it was where the author became brilliant and the readers thought it was wheree ceased to write engaging fiction A bit of a problem if the premise of THIS book is learn to write better selling better reading fiction Also if you like successful thrillersscifihorror books be prepared to be insulted throughout The author takes for granted that Megalodon: Fact or Fiction? his readersate successful books with speculative elements so when e discusses the book Jurassic Park pointing out all the ways in which its themes and characters embody the virtues e is discussing in this book and really Je viens d'Alep. Itinraire d'un rfugi ordinaire he does seem to understand JP and makes a good case for it being a weightier book than it gets credit fore follows it up with What s that you say You don t like Jurassic Park Let me talk about a different book then and then proceeds to discuss a book about a teenage girl being raised by a single father in a small town Which is fine but the unspoken implication is Now since everybody reading this book John Ormond, Emyr Humphreys, John Tripp (Penguin Modern Poets, hates Jurassic Park let s seeow a REAL book does this I would much rather learn to write Jurassic Park than a Hallmark made for TV movie in print Still despite the many elements which proved grating for me this is a useful book on writing It just seemed many times longer to me than it actually was because so much of it appened to rub me the wrong way It wouldn t ave that effect on many people so don t be too turned off Its good points are still worth looking intoCONS The track record of this guy s predictions in 2000 is laughable with the indsight of a 2013 reading all the hindsight of a 2013 reading All the e champions that were not yet released at the time of writing did terribly Only in Black Women in White America A Documentary History his analysis of books thatad already proven themselves in 2000 did Leggiamo l'ora. Gioco e imparo. Ediz. a colori he prove accurate This kind of underminesis whole thesis in a lot of waysHe doesn t Le guide Ornitho have aealthy respect for much genre fiction particularly Je voudrais que quelqu'un m'attende quelque part horror whiche said died out in the 80 s and that can cause a lot of friction between the reader and the book depending on what type of author you areAlso it might be a lesser point but SPOILERS to other works ABOUND in this book He ll Pour l'harmonisation orthographique des dictionnaires happily describe the story arc to novel after entire novel even parenthetically throwing in the content of the last page even if it doesn t matter Up through the very final pages we as readers are left wond. Breakout novels share regardless of genre then shows you writing techniues that can make your own books stand out and succeed in a crowded marketplaceYou'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 sus. Don is my agent so let s get that out of the way However Ieard Des femmes qui tombent him speak and I read this book before I ever signed on withim One of Illustrated Pocket Guide to Clinical Medicine his uestions made me rewrite a book I thought was finished I d spent than a year of my life on that book andis uestions made me spend another nine months at it That book The Way of Shadows Petit manuel pour comprendre le Syndrome de Tachycardie Orthostatique Posturale hit the New York Times bestseller list Low but 29 is something a lot of writers would kill toit And that s the genius of this book not that it ll make you a bestseller but that it will ask you the uestions that may take your writing to the next levelDon Maass understands story in a way few people even few professionals do This book puts the work back in your lap If you can t or won t see your own flaws it won t Kiss That Frog help you If you can I think it willBest writing book I ve read Period As an aspiring novelist a friend gave me this book thinking I would like itI didn tFirst the pros On oneand the book gives a few basic pointers about storytelling and the publishing industry The book offers a few interesting extract from novels And maybe maybe you might like this book if you were a complete newbieBut On the other The Seneca Scourge hand the author claims toave found the magic formula to write a Caleo Leech hit book And this is where everything goes wrong The author of this book is an agent not a novelistThere s no magic formula or as some other reviewersave already mentioned the author would be a successful novelist Vibrational Medicine The himself Ande s notReading this book made me cringed than once Repeatedly the author sounds arrogantpompous and gives Kade (Alien Adoption Agency horrible advice as if it were the gospel of truthThe chapter on E Revolution comes to mind Talking about e readers the author suggests it s a fad they stand little chance of replacing traditional paper bookse saysYep tell that to Amanda Hockings This is so wrong and it s almost comical to read today This book was written in 2001 and it showsI found this book to be very condescending as well There is this overarching tone in the book implying I know better than youI suggest you discover instead On Writing 10th Anniversary Edition A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King A much better volume on the craft of writing by someone who s actually ualified to talk about it and who does it in a way that will inspire you As a writers manual on storytelling craft this 2001 publication by author and successful literary agent Donald Maass Writing the Breakout Novel Insider Advice for Taking Your Fiction to the Next Level remains one of my favoritesI first read this book in 2004 or 2005 and came across it again this year 2018 at my library s fundraising sale I bought a very notated very worn Scandalous Acts 7 hardback copy and reread it finding as much truth in these pages as I did as an aspiring writer than a decade agoIave kept track of Donald Maass over the years I also enjoy reading The Children Money Can Buy his posts about writing craft on the website Writer Unboxed wheree is a freuent contributor I would love to meet The Burning Girls him at a writers conference or other such literary event Heas so much wisdom and industry expertise about The Outlandish Companion (Revised and Updated): Companion to Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, and Drums of Autumn how and why stories work Itonestly saddens me that so many people Transgalactic Antics Carrie Hatchett Space Adventurer have given this book such scathing reviewsere on Goodreads There are plenty of craft books on the market but very few are as good as this oneThe bones of what makes a good story are all Outmove (Inner Movement, here raising stakes transformation resolution All the big plot elements are broken down into the simplest language So are thornier subjects like theme and voice Donald Maass knows the market and what readers crave from their books ande knows The Removed how to distill that knowledge into the fewest words possible Iave learned some uglier truths about publishing since the first time I read this book truths Donald Maass doesn t ever mention And I don t blame Wildflower An Extraordinary Life and Untimely Death in Africa him for ite probably was unaware of such things then and now But those truths are still there Most people who aspire to call themselves authors come from a particular socioeconomic background and the publishing market favors stories told from the viewpoint of that particular socioeconomic background The market also favors stories that feature people from bad circumstances falling on The Elixir and the Stone hard times through their own poor choices andor addictions and then overcoming their internal demons rather than facing or changing external forces of oppression White savior tales remain as popular as they ever were for a reason So do popular tropes like the Magical Negro character whichas morphed into another popular trope of diversity checkboxing to soothe the sting of a modifiedslightly exoticized white savior tale on an audience that claims to be progressive and wokeaware of oppressionDonald Maass doesn t speak to these things But all of that Ancient Agriculture: From Foraging to Farming (Ancient Technology) hegemonic discourse exists in novels in the stories that are chosen for publication and certainly in the stories that become breakout novels that sell well in the marketplace Privilege does not like to be seen oreard Privilege definitely does not want to be changed As a white able bodied upper middle class neurotypical Black Columbiad: Defining Moments in African American Literature and Culture (Harvard English Studies) heterosexual man Donald Maassas found success in an industry that seeks to reward what Black Noir he is andow The Bad Guys he thinks None of thatowever means that Yce (Captured by Aliens his wisdom about the craft of storytelling isn t useful or true uite the opposite I love this book andighly recommend it to any novelist But there are a great many truths I would add to these pages if I could For aspiring breakout novel authors there are a lot of ugly things that should be taken into consideration before writing for the market or writing a book
that might perform well in the market Donald Maass is a member of the inner circlemight perform well in the market Donald Maass is a member of the inner circle e can t speak to those things For any aspiring breakout novelist who was born and raised in the same inner circle sharing those truths would also be unnecessary Those truths are often a birthright inherited through the osmosis of one s upbringing For people outside of the circle the worldview of the publishing industry and successful novelists must be learned as the s and codes of conduct of any different class in society must be learned Donald Maass did not write an ethnography book about the publishing industry Donald Maass did not write an ethnography book about the publishing industry was simply focused on the craft of storytelling as if writing exists in a void beyond the strictures of culture and power That is the void that most books about writing exist in as if stories are not the most powerful form of the egemony but some kind of artistic pursuit that finds success based solely on merit But I digress As a book about storytelling the information about plot characters setting and other basic elements of structure presented in this book are as solid and useful now as they were when Donald Maass first published this book Five full stars This is a great read There are obvious reasons why adding this title is embarrassingBut the book is not what you thinkMaass is a writer and agent with several decades of experience and e uses that to explain why some books work and some don t He analyzes both commercial and literary fiction He s basically interested in
Any Book That Reaches A Wide Audience And Why Regardlessbook that reaches a wide audience and why regardless its categorizationThis book worked for me because it coalesced a year s worth of reading writing taking apart books and workshops on structure novel and plot Maass goes over ow to create compelling characters plot and subplot theme etcAlso I d like to address some easy misconceptions and points other reviewers Familiar Stranger A Year Of Loving Dangerously Silhouette Intimate Moments No 1082 have made Maass is not discountingard work He s not saying a person can spit out a novel in a month He acknowledges that novel writing reuires practice and years of work This book doesn t contain formulas either However Maass does show Out of the Shadows how a successful career novelist must write many books He tracks several novelist s careers and demonstratesow they build audiences usually after amassing a body of work He argues for writing an excellent book and another and another and another and so on So for the rare authors who are able to live off of writing they Black Gotham haven t done it with the first book they ve spent years writing books before they re able to retire from their day jobs and devote themselves to full time writing m still a few pages from being done with Donald Maass s Writing the Breakout Novel and WOWFor YEARS Iave been looking for what I consider the perfect writing book And every time I go to a booksto. Take your fiction to the next levelMaybe 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 Addiction how to take your prose to the next level and write a breakout novel one that rises out of obscurity andits the best seller listsMaass details the elements that all.
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