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Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maas | Live Write Breathe Books for Writers

Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maas

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.

Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maas | Live Write Breathe Books for Writers
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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.

Reviewed by Janalyn Voigt, author of Dawnsinger.

Purchase Writing the Breakout Novel.

Written by Janalyn Voigt

Janalyn Voigt

© Janalyn Voigt
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I’m Janalyn Voigt, an author, speaker, and former social media mentor. DawnSinger and Wayfarer, the first two books in my epic fantasy series, Tales of Faeraven, released with Pelican Book Group and will be followed by at least two more installments. I’m also working on a romantic suspense novel set in an Irish castle, but then historical fiction has a grip on me too. Being unabashedly multi-genre makes me into what some might term a reluctant rebel, but I prefer to think of myself as a storyteller.

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