Writing Book Review – Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass

IMG_8202.JPG

This writing book aims to help you take your fiction to the next level. If you know the basics of writing, it’s a great guide on how to do this. I found it practical as well as motivating.

Maass talks about the premise, stakes, time and place, character, plotting, POV, endings, and I love that it also discusses theme. In short, it’s pretty thorough.

Key take outs:

  • The great novel should sweep you away with unforgettable characters, and dramatic and meaningful events. The essence of a great story is conflict.
  • High stakes come from your own stakes in writing your story. An author who is fired up, or rather who fires up their characters as their proxies, stands a much better chance of crafting a spellbinding story.
  • Use exposition – interior monologues – in which there is no action to deepen dilemmas and increase tension e.g. irresolution and mixed feelings.
  • To set your voice free, set your words, characters and heart free.
  • Novels are moral. Say something passionately that must be said.

Score: 9/10 It works