Quintessential Guide to Writing the Breakout Novel
Donald Maas is a successful literary agent, an exceptional teacher with a masterful grasp not only on his topic but on how to motivate people, and a gifted writer with a knack for turning a phrase. While Writing the Breakout Novelis written for authors seeking the traditional route to publication, indie authors looking to rise above the crowd will also benefit from Maas’s advice.
Be aware that Maas offers his advice for writers who want to carve a place for themselves in the mainstream. Even if this is not your goal, it is still possible to benefit from this book. Gleaning from the author’s years of working with and reading submissions by writers can shortcut mastery of the writing craft and save a lot of angst.
About the Book
Writers struggling to break out of the midlist will appreciate the specific advice in this book. Covered are how to develop a breakout premise, elevate a story using public and private stakes, establish settings of time and place, create larger-than-life characters, build and escalate conflict, plot with advanced story structures and contemporary plot techniques, align to a theme, handle multiple viewpoints, find subplots, keep up the pace, find your unique voice, and write endings that don’t disappoint.
Maas gives common-sense advice on how to proceed when your breakout novel is complete, including invaluable tips on how to approach literary agents. He provides wisdom on contracting with a literary agent, managing a large advance, and keeping the money coming.
My Opinion of the Book
I review a lot of books, but after I’ve read them, most end up gracing someone else’s bookshelves. That won’t happen with Writing the Breakout Novel. This book is chock-full of useful information written in a palatable style, a winner on two levels. In fact, this is one of the best books on writing I’ve ever read.
To illustrate relevant points, the author drew upon his extensive literary knowledg. I’ve learned (and continue to learn) a lot about writing from my own reading, so some of the titles he names are destined for my to-be-read list.
I’d been meaning to read Writing the Breakout Novel for a while, only other reading projects kept pushing it aside. But then, something happened that grabbed my attention. A friend read this book, revised her manuscript accordingly, and landed an agent. I made time to read the book.
I suggest you do the same.
Purchase Writing the Breakout Novel.