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  • Title : The Breakout Novelist

  • Author:

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  • ISBN: 1582979901

  • Number of Pages: 352 pages


The Breakout Novelist Description

The all inclusive guide for novel writers

If you re serious about making your fiction vibrant, engaging, and marketable, you ve found the right book The Breakout Novelist gives you the craft and business know how you need to make your book stand out.

Inside, veteran agent, Donald Maass brings together the most innovative and practical information from his workshops and prev

The all inclusive guide for novel writers

If you re serious about making your fiction vibrant, engaging, and marketable, you ve found the right book The Breakout Novelist gives you the craft and business know how you need to make your book stand out.

Inside, veteran agent, Donald Maass brings together the most innovative and practical information from his workshops and previous books to lead you through every aspect of setting your novel apart from the rest Maass shares examples from contemporary writers across all genres to equip you with the strategies great writers use to craft great fiction from core fiction writing elements like character, setting, description, and plot, to advanced techniques including point of view, voice, and suspense Plus, you ll find over 70 practical exercises to help you move your writing from blah to breakout

You ll also learn from Maass experiences over than three decades in the publishing industry Get straight talk from an insider about agents, contracts, how the industry is changing, and how to be the kind of author who builds a successful career book after book.

Get the best of Maass expertise and instruction in one easy to use reference.

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Lists with This Book Best Books on the Craft of Writing and Editing Fiction 173 books 49 voters More lists with this book Community Reviews showing 1 30 filter sort default Rating Details 0 copy ratingGraph.clone j rating_details_tip_graph.remove copy.attr id , rating_details_tip_graph copy.find script.remove j rating_details_tip.prepend copy Apr 02, 2011 Mart Ramirez rated it it was amazing Veteran agent, Donald Maass has put together another valuable book for writers I m not surprised If you ve read any of his writing books, then you know it s some serious stuff for serious writers A must have for fiction writers of all levels.If you re determined to learn how to be a breakout novelist, this is the book for you This comprehensive writing reference can help whether you re ready to submit or are just now learning the craft Donald s words of wisdom will lead you every step of th Veteran agent, Donald Maass has put together another valuable book for writers I m not surprised If you ve read any of his writing books, then you know it s some serious stuff for serious writers A must have for fiction writers of all levels.If you re determined to learn how to be a breakout novelist, this is the book for you This comprehensive writing reference can help whether you re ready to submit or are just now learning the craft Donald s words of wisdom will lead you every step of the way.The spiral bound formatting allows for trouble free access and the practical tools section shows you how to add larger than life qualities an excellent guide to apply toward a work in progress or a completed manuscript.The Breakout Novelist includes three parts Mastering Breakout Basics, Achieving Breakout Greatness, Building a Breakout Career You ll learn about setting, description, plot, character, agents, contracts, and much The list is endless.The book contains invaluable material from four of his bestselling books, Writing the Breakout Novel, Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook, The Fire in Fiction, and The Career Novelist, plus updated content.How awesome is that Top New York literary agent, Donald Maass has than thirty years experience in the publishing industry This is one easy to use reference you do not want to miss Guaranteed.Donald Maass is president of the Donald Maass Literary Agency in New York, which he founded in 1980 He represents than 100 fiction writers in the SF, fantasy, crime, mystery, romance and thriller categories He sells than 100 novels per year to top publishers in America and overseas Recently he has obtained six and seven figure advances from publishers such as Warner, Ballantine, G.P Putnam s Sons, Harcourt Brace, Penguin Canada and others for authors like mystery writer Anne Perry, thriller writer Gregg Keizer, historical novelist Jack Whyte and science fiction writers Diane Duane and Todd McCaffrey.He the author of than 16 novels Some of his writing books include The Career Novelist Heineman, 1996 , Writing the Breakout Novel Writers Digest Books, 2001 , The Breakout Novel Workbook Writer s Digest Books, 2004 and The Fire in Fiction Writer s Digest Books, 2009 He is a past president of the Association of Authors Representatives, Inc AAR Mr.Maass speaks at writer s conferences throughout the country and lives in New York City.Reviewed by Martha Ramirez of Bookpleasures flag 2 likesLike see review Mar 23, 2011 Jacqui rated it it was amazing I loved Donald Maass last book, Writing the Breakout Novel, and the title of this new one intrigued me How timely, with the empowerment of writers by self publishing on Maass thoughts on self pubs later and digital book sales blowing past traditional offerings Data shows a slew of new authors emboldened by a successful novel success being a relative word who want a career in writing I wanted Maass thoughts on the viability of that as well as how to do it.For those of you who don t I loved Donald Maass last book, Writing the Breakout Novel, and the title of this new one intrigued me How timely, with the empowerment of writers by self publishing on Maass thoughts on self pubs later and digital book sales blowing past traditional offerings Data shows a slew of new authors emboldened by a successful novel success being a relative word who want a career in writing I wanted Maass thoughts on the viability of that as well as how to do it.For those of you who don t know Donald Maass, he is a veteran agent, currently the head of the Donald Maass Literary Agency in New York which represents than 150 novelists and sells than 100 novels every year to publishers in America and overseas By his own count, he receives annually about 7500 query letters, partial manuscripts, and completed novels 99.9% of which disappoint him This amazing statistic must be the inspiration behind his new book The authors, he declares, are not incompetent, merely not in command of their technique This book provides the tools to change that.It s organized into three parts 1 Mastering Breakout Basics how to write fundamentals, including exercises for the wanna be breakout novelist That s right, homework There are no shortcuts, but there are quicker ways to do it and he shares those 2 Achieving Breakout Greatness factors that vault an author to success This includes a singular voice, tension all the time, hyper reality, scenes that can t be cut If you think you know those concepts, you don t know Maass even includes a section on how to write humor Chapter 16 , explaining how to ban banal with his methods of mirth like hyperbole, ironic juxtaposition, being extremely literal, and 3 Building a Breakout Career, which addresses the nuts of bolts of agents, contracts numbers, and career patterns that work Most of this material I have not read before though I ve read many how to write books His chapter on Numbers, Numbers, Numbers is fundamental to moving beyond the one great novel we all have inside of us to a successful career He itemizes What Breaking Out means When to write full time and how to do that How to build an audience word of mouth is prominent What distracts you from writing lectures, short story anthologies these he considers distractions from the real work of writing a novel How to create your voice The life cycle of a career writerBut don t skip the introduction I know we often do Agents even recommend against prologues and introductions because so many readers skip them Don t do it in this case Here are some snippets I m looking for writers who can write one great book after another Commercial novelists frequently feel pressure to manage that feat of strength Intuitive novelists often have markers moments and scenes that they know must be in the book the three primary levels on which novels always must be working plot, individual scene, and line by line the level that I call micro tension The journey can be outward or inward and, in fact, is best when it is both novel has a tension deficit disorder If your fiction is great, then your agent will return your calls.Donald Maass admits parts of this book are taken from his earlier books good writing skills don t change These concepts are presented with passages from successful novels to show not tell the point They cover every genre memoir, literary fiction, thriller with not just what s right, but how a good section can go wrong Thanks to this book, I now have a massive list of new books I want to read.Here are some of my favorite parts A breakout premise must have the energy of a uranium isotope Formative reading experiences stay with us, like comfort food No breakout novel leaves us feeling neutral Every protagonist needs a torturous need, a consuming fear, an aching regret, a visible dream, a passionate longing, an inescapable ambition, an exquisite lust, an inner lack, a fatal weakness, an unavoidable obligation, an iron instinct, an irresistible plan, a noble idea, an undying hope If you truly wish to write the breakout novel, commit yourself to characters who are strong as in the oft attempted but rarely successful comic relief sub plot Breakout novelists hold backstory back for just the right moment If your heroine and her sidekick are standing still, it ought to be because they disagree One problem that can keep a novel from breaking out is a failure to draw a clear line between good and bad There is also the decline of editing fiercely denied by publishers,but widely reported by readers many authors begin their climb with no support whatsoever from their publishers Two other factors can work against building an audience jumping genres and changing publishers chain stores today only sell 30 percent of trade titles Online retailers now account for 20 percent of trade sales.Overall, I highly recommend this book to authors who wish to make a career of writing, making money doing what they love Isn t that the American Dream As much as a chicken in every pot, don t we all want paying our bills and loving our job not to be an oxymoron Donald Maass provides the toolkit You must provide the energy.I have only one point of disagreement, and it s the same one I had with his prior book, Writing the Breakout Novel, that in his words the only plan that doesn t work that well for commercial fiction writers is self publishing I think that depends upon your definition of the words, work that well.How about works well enough I believe the e revolution has empowered writers to take charge of their own careers, to be the captains of their own future No matter that sales may be smaller than if an agent is involved, sales are there and that means bills are paid Who out there earns hundreds of thousands of dollars Most people are middle class The publishing industry is as much about ebooks, digital readers, self publishing, as the traditional path through an agent Though one might question the quality of digital books, self pub makes it possible for Everyman to write books from his soul, sell them to his niche, and make a living or have a passionate hobby, not unlike skiing, acting or ballroom dancing Donald Maass admits the Kindle e book reader has let loose pent up frustrations across the spectrum Authors see them as salvation Publishers see them as a vein of ore What do you think flag 1 likeLike see review Aug 07, 2017 Derek rated it really liked it Shelves highly recommended, books abt writing craft, non fiction, favourites, read in 2017 I ve been reading writing books since I started writing Some of them are really helpful, they have helped me improve my craft, fix a couple of recurring flaws, adjectives, show verses tell, that sort of thing After you ve read thirty plus writing craft books, they all kind of start to feel derivative Actually you start to skim Not with this book It s insightful, relevant and offers the greatesr example of craft pieces done well Not only does it stop there, it talks about the business o I ve been reading writing books since I started writing Some of them are really helpful, they have helped me improve my craft, fix a couple of recurring flaws, adjectives, show verses tell, that sort of thing After you ve read thirty plus writing craft books, they all kind of start to feel derivative Actually you start to skim Not with this book It s insightful, relevant and offers the greatesr example of craft pieces done well Not only does it stop there, it talks about the business of writing, of making a career And this I found most helpful I m currently querying agents for my novel and it s given me.a.fresh perspective to take to my querying process I m not only a stronger writer because of it, but savvy too Thanks Donald flag 1 likeLike see review Feb 09, 2016 Gabriella rated it really liked it Shelves on writing I really enjoyed this one, and I learned a lot If anybody has the right to teach how to write, it s the people who buy books, represent books, and sell books Are movie ratings written by other actors and actresses and directors No Are sports writers league champions No Are museum curators artists themselves.No Then why is writing any different I ll never understand where the logic arose that only writers can rate other writings It s absurd, and it s flawed Any writer who feels that I really enjoyed this one, and I learned a lot If anybody has the right to teach how to write, it s the people who buy books, represent books, and sell books Are movie ratings written by other actors and actresses and directors No Are sports writers league champions No Are museum curators artists themselves.No Then why is writing any different I ll never understand where the logic arose that only writers can rate other writings It s absurd, and it s flawed Any writer who feels that readers are too stupid to understand anything are never going to succeed as a writer, because they re too busy shitting on the people that pay them and support them Some authors seem to think that readers need a fucking CV to review their book Readers are the blood that runs in a writers veins If writers can t see past the page they re scribbling on to their readers, then I can t see how that writer will have a fruitful career This book doesn t give you a recipe for success Maass does t tell you to sell yourself out and write genre gimmicks He does the opposite, actually He tells you to forget about the industry, for about the business, and focus on what you want to write and the reader who will read it That s it I thought this book was invaluable, and even professional readers book bloggers, book critics, new agents and editors etc can learn a lot about what exactly makes a successful book He provides examples by the wagonload, and breaks it down in a refreshing way He put into words things that I ve always suspected and thought but could never articulate There are no character charts to fill in, no bullshit What s your character s favourite colour questions Just the story, the page, and how to marry the two flag 1 likeLike see review Apr 08, 2015 Bob Miller rated it really liked it The Breakout Novelist by Donald Maass published by Writers Digest is about the factors that make a book become a best seller.It s mostly about what characteristics a book or story needs to have to move beyond mediocre or good to really great.Donald Maass is a well known agent editor who has helped several famous authors toward breakout success He s seen lots of books and knows what makes them great.I really enjoyed the chapters in this book that deal with writing help How to create characters The Breakout Novelist by Donald Maass published by Writers Digest is about the factors that make a book become a best seller.It s mostly about what characteristics a book or story needs to have to move beyond mediocre or good to really great.Donald Maass is a well known agent editor who has helped several famous authors toward breakout success He s seen lots of books and knows what makes them great.I really enjoyed the chapters in this book that deal with writing help How to create characters that matter Making the impossible seem real and the role of co incidence and connections between characters Mr Maass used real world examples of well known books, some of which he s edited To me, this was the most helpful seeing practical examples of what he s referring to.The book also includes practical writing exercises and questions It is a workbook about how to create a breakout novel It caused me to consider how my own first novel attempts are fitting into the mold of the breakout novel.The third section of the book deals with the realities of the publishing industry Even though some of the information is dated now copyright 2010 , it is still helpful.An over riding premise of the book is that authors should worry less about the publishing politics and marketing machinations and focus on producing a great story More than anything else, a breakout novel is the most important marketing factor.The Breakout Novelist is highly recommended for any author hoping to write a novel that will be enjoyed by many flag 1 likeLike see review Dec 26, 2015 Debra rated it really liked it Shelves nonfiction Regardless of how long one has been writing, good how to and inspirational books on the topic can offer fresh perspectives and solutions to problems with a manuscript Every writer needs to pause and reflect on where they ve come and where they want to go Every writer has weaknesses and concerns that need to be addressed before obtaining the type of contracts and sales that will enable them to earn a living from their work The Breakout Novelist book can help.I like that it addresses published Regardless of how long one has been writing, good how to and inspirational books on the topic can offer fresh perspectives and solutions to problems with a manuscript Every writer needs to pause and reflect on where they ve come and where they want to go Every writer has weaknesses and concerns that need to be addressed before obtaining the type of contracts and sales that will enable them to earn a living from their work The Breakout Novelist book can help.I like that it addresses published authors who ve been writing a while, but who haven t yet achieved bestseller status Maass offers great advice and useful exercises to help achieve that goal New writers will also benefit from the nuts and bolts aspects of creating memorable characters, useful subplots, and understanding the importance of theme, for example.The weakest part of the book was the last section which focuses on the business side of things Given that the book was written in 2010 and that technology and ebook publishing have moved at a rapid pace, some of the information is understandably out of date Still, the useful information makes this book a necessary addition to any novelist s library, regardless of genre flag 1 likeLike see review Apr 04, 2011 Haley Mathiot rated it really liked it Rating 4.5 The Breakout Novelist is a fantastic handbook that should be on every writer s desk It should be marked up, highlighted, paper clipped, and sticky noted if that s a word Let s pretend it is There is so much great advice and information in here it would take weeks and multiple readings to really get it all but it s not meant to be read through from start to finish It s a handbook, workbook, dictionary type tool There are many categories such as plot, theme, characters, chapter Rating 4.5 The Breakout Novelist is a fantastic handbook that should be on every writer s desk It should be marked up, highlighted, paper clipped, and sticky noted if that s a word Let s pretend it is There is so much great advice and information in here it would take weeks and multiple readings to really get it all but it s not meant to be read through from start to finish It s a handbook, workbook, dictionary type tool There are many categories such as plot, theme, characters, chapters on voice and hyper reality, protagonists vs heroes, and information about what to do when you ve got your manuscript done and ready There are exercises questions, prompts, and examples carefully explained and outlined It s easy to read and understand and doesn t feel like an instruction manual it s fun and enjoyable and interesting to read I wholeheartedly recommend any serious writer just starting or multi published to grab a copy of The Breakout Novelist.check out my blog for an excerpt guest post flag 1 likeLike see review Aug 12, 2017 Monica B rated it it was amazing Shelves favorites Thoughtful and instructive, I felt like I ve learned so much in reading this book and revisit it often The exercises are filled with insight flag Like see review Mar 06, 2017 Dan Koboldt rated it it was amazing This may be one of the best non fiction books on writing authorship that I ve ever read Don Maass not only addresses a number of craft issues that explain breakout novel successes, but also discusses long term strategies that have helped or hurt authors hoping to build long term careers One of my favorite quotes In both life and fiction, when people act in ways that are unusual, unexpected, dramatic, decisive, full of consequence, and irreversible, we remember them and talk about them for y This may be one of the best non fiction books on writing authorship that I ve ever read Don Maass not only addresses a number of craft issues that explain breakout novel successes, but also discusses long term strategies that have helped or hurt authors hoping to build long term careers One of my favorite quotes In both life and fiction, when people act in ways that are unusual, unexpected, dramatic, decisive, full of consequence, and irreversible, we remember them and talk about them for years TWO TYPES OF AUTHORSHe also argues that authors fall into one of two categories those who write from a desire to tell stories storytellers and those who do it for fame and recognition status seekers I worry a bit about how I d be classified by this method, since I pay attention to things like trends and marketing in the publishing industry But hey, that s my own demon THE BOTTOM LINEIt s a great book and I highly recommend it to authors at any stage in the game flag Like see review Feb 08, 2015 Beth rated it really liked it This one took me quite a bit of time to get through, because there s a lot of information AND opinion to navigate In terms of writing style and voice, it felt.conversational, but condescending somehow as well His asides were unnecessary, and there was some assume the reader is an idiot in them But if you gloss over those question answer insults, you ll find a lot of nuggets of info here The first half is all about the elements of a good novel, with a metric ton of examples of each exce This one took me quite a bit of time to get through, because there s a lot of information AND opinion to navigate In terms of writing style and voice, it felt.conversational, but condescending somehow as well His asides were unnecessary, and there was some assume the reader is an idiot in them But if you gloss over those question answer insults, you ll find a lot of nuggets of info here The first half is all about the elements of a good novel, with a metric ton of examples of each excellent for helping us readers understanding those concepts It s nothing new, just reminders of things like micro tension, and support of the idea that you should always write to outdo yourself, and write often, and write your very best The second half is all about the publishing industry It s a little outdated already, having been written in 2010 when the ebook publishing industry was still in its infancy, not the ungainly waddling toddler it is today , but still useful I found that part most educational, and it was eye opening and depressing to see how convoluted the industry is The underlying assumption was that if you write a truly great novel, and you have a good agent, you re guaranteed to get published and garner a fan base and then you need to keep writing better and growing your skill That seems contradictorily simple, given how convoluted the publishing industry is according to Maass but maybe it s the carrot to balance the stick reality of you will never be self supporting as an author I recommend picking this one up AFTER you ve written an revised a manuscript It will certainly get you thinking about your story and characters If you pick it up before you ve written anything like I did you may find yourself intimidated out of writing which is what I m currently struggling with Either way, it s a good resource flag Like see review May 06, 2014 Nola Decker rated it really liked it I ll start with the good stuff Great advice Great questions and worksheets to guide you through fleshing out your characters and your plot I ve read the earlier books, The Fire in Fiction, Writing the Breakout Novel, etc The Breakout Novel workbook made a world of different for one of my earlier books and really helped shape me as a writer This book apparently contains the same advice but arranged in a user friendly way The earlier books had an unfortunate layout with the prompts and I ll start with the good stuff Great advice Great questions and worksheets to guide you through fleshing out your characters and your plot I ve read the earlier books, The Fire in Fiction, Writing the Breakout Novel, etc The Breakout Novel workbook made a world of different for one of my earlier books and really helped shape me as a writer This book apparently contains the same advice but arranged in a user friendly way The earlier books had an unfortunate layout with the prompts and questions at the ends of each chapter It was a bit crazymaking to use them during the writing process I had lots of bookmarks going on to show me where I was I finally ended up photocopying all of the questions pages so I could refer to them easily.In this book, the writing prompts and worksheets are bunched together in two sections of the book Best of all, you can download them off of writersdigest.com and print them out so you re not lugging this book around Even though the spiral binding is awfully handy.This book will make your writing better That is the bottom line.Okay, now for the stuff I didn t like The font in this book is miniscule I actually put off reading it because it was so unpleasant to turn on a bright enough light to see the print Recently I broke down and got some reading glasses for the first time so I am liberated from my poor eyesight The main thing that bugged me is his condescending voice He falls into that camp of agents giving writing advice who are snarky about all the lame and stupid things writers do Decades of looking at terrible writing and would be authors who can t follow query instructions has made him bitter That is why I give this 4 stars and not 5 I just didn t dig the voice flag Like see review Jun 08, 2012 Lyn rated it liked it Shelves 1 writing, 3 own You can t go wrong taking writing advice from veteran literary agent, Donald Maass After spending thirty years working with novelists, he knows what is needed to take an ordinary story and turn it into a breakout novel Like all good instruction books, this one is spiral bound, making it easy to read, easy to make notes, and easy to highlight The organization is also excellent, so you can find those notes and highlights later.Begin with the introduction It s meant to be read First of all, it You can t go wrong taking writing advice from veteran literary agent, Donald Maass After spending thirty years working with novelists, he knows what is needed to take an ordinary story and turn it into a breakout novel Like all good instruction books, this one is spiral bound, making it easy to read, easy to make notes, and easy to highlight The organization is also excellent, so you can find those notes and highlights later.Begin with the introduction It s meant to be read First of all, it tells the reader how to use the book and gives a mini view of what the book has to offer The first section of the book takes the basics, which Maass already expects you to know, and shows how these elements premise, stakes, time and place, plot, and theme can be tweaked by using breakout novel characteristics.Part Two, Achieving Breakout Greatness, goes a step further, giving advice about details and delivery It includes enhancing voice, scenes, and tension, just to name a few elements Throughout the book, Maass gives examples from both classics and bestselling novels.Part Three, Building a Breakout Career, gives advice on pitch, agents, contracts, publishing and other business must dos Fiction careers aren t just about writing the book He also touches on the future of the rapidly changing publishing industry.Maass s conversational style makes this book an easy read, which is not always true in books on craft After each section, he offers Practical Tools intended to give the reader the opportunity to play with his advice flag Like see review Jan 09, 2016 Nick rated it did not like it A man who s not a writer tells people how to write What could go wrong I found this book extremely content thin I ll sum up the experience You need high stakes Here are some examples of high stakes You need vibrant descriptions Here are a ton of examples You need strong characters Here are examples Et cetera Maass does, to his credit, somewhat vaguely define what a strong character is though I find his taste cheesy , and makes a useful distinction between public and private stakes A man who s not a writer tells people how to write What could go wrong I found this book extremely content thin I ll sum up the experience You need high stakes Here are some examples of high stakes You need vibrant descriptions Here are a ton of examples You need strong characters Here are examples Et cetera Maass does, to his credit, somewhat vaguely define what a strong character is though I find his taste cheesy , and makes a useful distinction between public and private stakes But it s all just categories of things you should have in a story Maass knows what he likes, but not how to write it.Honestly I skimmed Something about Maass style is grating It might be that he writes this weak tea, which is literally a best of book from his previous work one wonders what he cut , and talks in the intro about how writers have his other books at their bedsides for quick access I could have given this another star it s not thoughtless, there are a few nuggets, and you never expect much from these kinds of books but did I mention how disorganized it is Some sections are eerily similar to previous ones, but with examples.I didn t read much of the section on the writing lifestyle, which may ironically be closest to Maass expertise, because I m skeptical that there s any particularly timeless advice beyond practice and perseverance I also skipped the exercises provided for each chapter not my thing , so they may be useful But again, it s not like this guy used any of them himself flag Like see review Apr 24, 2015 Brad rated it really liked it Shelves writing While this might not have been my absolute favorite book on writing, it ranks up there with some of the best I especially appreciated the passion he espoused for simply writing a damn good book above and beyond any other consideration Sounds simple, no Well the advice is taken across a wide board of problem areas, be it agents, editors, publishing platforms, and best of all, every writer s worst enemy themselves Never get complacent Don t aim for status Aim for great storytelling and the While this might not have been my absolute favorite book on writing, it ranks up there with some of the best I especially appreciated the passion he espoused for simply writing a damn good book above and beyond any other consideration Sounds simple, no Well the advice is taken across a wide board of problem areas, be it agents, editors, publishing platforms, and best of all, every writer s worst enemy themselves Never get complacent Don t aim for status Aim for great storytelling and the rest will follow suit.Simplicity itself So if I ve given away everything that makes this book so valuable, then why should anyone else read it Because it s pretty damn exhaustive on the big points that make any novel a great novel, and enjoins us to partake of some pretty decent workbook exercises that focus on connections and character development than things like plot It was quite useful, and the rest was, for the most part, positive and uplifting if you re trying to be an author that doesn t mind staring the hard facts in the face.Few punches were pulled.For this, I was greatly amused flag Like see review Jan 18, 2017 Matt Ward rated it it was ok This was fine I m not sure it s worth it though It basically covers in single chapters what other people have covered in whole books in much depth I would definitely not recommend this to people interested in getting better at characterization, plot structure, or description For those, I d recommend Characters Viewpoint by OSC, Story by McKee or The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne, and Description by Monica Wood Other general purpose writing books are also better like About Writing by This was fine I m not sure it s worth it though It basically covers in single chapters what other people have covered in whole books in much depth I would definitely not recommend this to people interested in getting better at characterization, plot structure, or description For those, I d recommend Characters Viewpoint by OSC, Story by McKee or The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne, and Description by Monica Wood Other general purpose writing books are also better like About Writing by Delany That being said, there are a few parts to this that are well worth it First are the very concrete and detailed exercises in how to actually apply the concepts to your own manuscript The second is the chapter on tension Very few writing guides talk about this crucial element to good fiction The last is the section on things not to do in query letter submissions flag Like see review Jun 19, 2011 D.L Morrese rated it really liked it This practical guide by one of America s current top literary agents provides a potentially useful tool for fiction writers Although it seems specifically aimed at those who have already completed at least one manuscript, or have one well underway, it also provides valuable insights to novices on everything from planning a novel to scene development, and it uses examples from published novels to illustrate key points It also provides some of the best advice on writing query letters I have ever This practical guide by one of America s current top literary agents provides a potentially useful tool for fiction writers Although it seems specifically aimed at those who have already completed at least one manuscript, or have one well underway, it also provides valuable insights to novices on everything from planning a novel to scene development, and it uses examples from published novels to illustrate key points It also provides some of the best advice on writing query letters I have ever seen The worksheets, which can be downloaded in PDF format from Writer s Digest, can be helpful for evaluation of draft manuscripts I noted a number of typos in the hard copy version I bought Not enough to be overly distracting but surprising considering the subject and author flag Like see review Jun 05, 2016 PoligirlReads rated it it was amazing This is a really useful book It covers pretty much anything and everything that can be anticipated in the creation and selling of a novel Maass is delightfully blunt, something that I appreciate, although I recognize that some may want or need a positive guide The man has 30 years of success in the industry, so if he s pointing out the different ways that writers tend to screw up, then I m than willing to go along for the ride I liked the workbook activities This was a valuable b This is a really useful book It covers pretty much anything and everything that can be anticipated in the creation and selling of a novel Maass is delightfully blunt, something that I appreciate, although I recognize that some may want or need a positive guide The man has 30 years of success in the industry, so if he s pointing out the different ways that writers tend to screw up, then I m than willing to go along for the ride I liked the workbook activities This was a valuable book, even when I disagreed with him I don t know, for example, that Status Seekers and Storytellers are mutually exclusive groups I m pretty certain that there are plenty of writers out there that have overlapping traits in both categories Overall though, this book is a keeper flag Like see review Jan 21, 2013 Kevin Ikenberry rated it it was amazing Not the kind of book to read straight through, but a great reference tool that contains a myriad of exercises to go along with the great advice and insight For me, as a fledgling writer, there were a lot of repeats from other sage advisors of the craft, but the author s insight into the world of publishing was welcome and entertaining I learned a few things from this book, that s easy to say.This edition was in a hardcover as a ringed book, and I loved the style A book that can be laid flat i Not the kind of book to read straight through, but a great reference tool that contains a myriad of exercises to go along with the great advice and insight For me, as a fledgling writer, there were a lot of repeats from other sage advisors of the craft, but the author s insight into the world of publishing was welcome and entertaining I learned a few things from this book, that s easy to say.This edition was in a hardcover as a ringed book, and I loved the style A book that can be laid flat is a great reference book flag Like see review Sep 28, 2016 Alicia Aringdale rated it liked it The book is of a general overview of writing advice than an in depth examination It seems like the kind of book you use for reference to give yourself ideas to pursue when you are struggling or looking for the next step in the progress I do get the impression the writer has a rather high opinion of his personal tastes and thinks the reader should as well, which was a bit off putting But overall there was a lot of genuinely useful advice compiled in a neat little binder so I am glad I pic The book is of a general overview of writing advice than an in depth examination It seems like the kind of book you use for reference to give yourself ideas to pursue when you are struggling or looking for the next step in the progress I do get the impression the writer has a rather high opinion of his personal tastes and thinks the reader should as well, which was a bit off putting But overall there was a lot of genuinely useful advice compiled in a neat little binder so I am glad I picked it up flag Like see review Jan 01, 2014 Kathleen Basi rated it it was amazing This book has been sitting on my shelves, glaring at me, for months I got sidetracked from it because I wanted to work through all the exercises, but you can t do it all at once It s too intense This past week I decided to skip reading the exercises and finish reading so I can call it done But I will be using this book extensively from this point out Donald Maass is by turns hard hitting realist, unyielding coach, and supportive cheerleader This book is an eye opener and mind stretcher f This book has been sitting on my shelves, glaring at me, for months I got sidetracked from it because I wanted to work through all the exercises, but you can t do it all at once It s too intense This past week I decided to skip reading the exercises and finish reading so I can call it done But I will be using this book extensively from this point out Donald Maass is by turns hard hitting realist, unyielding coach, and supportive cheerleader This book is an eye opener and mind stretcher for a novelist flag Like see review Aug 01, 2011 Holly is currently reading it Recommends it for Writers Shelves non fiction, writing Unfinished Review Things I like Donald Maass is wonderful in general, but specificallyThis book lies flat, which makes it much easier to work with when doing the exercises.Things I don t like The print is tiny, and I do mean tiny.In Chapter Five he mentions the Five Basic Plot Elements and then only lists three of them I had to get out my copy of Writing the Breakout Novel to refresh my memory, and this irritated the heck out of me to the point I stopped reading for a while Unfinished Rev Unfinished Review Things I like Donald Maass is wonderful in general, but specificallyThis book lies flat, which makes it much easier to work with when doing the exercises.Things I don t like The print is tiny, and I do mean tiny.In Chapter Five he mentions the Five Basic Plot Elements and then only lists three of them I had to get out my copy of Writing the Breakout Novel to refresh my memory, and this irritated the heck out of me to the point I stopped reading for a while Unfinished Review flag Like see review Jun 20, 2013 Thomax Green rated it it was amazing Shelves writing art Donald Maass has been inspiring me with his writing since before I took my own seriously He is my first choice agent and I hope someday he will be my agent This book gives you a lot of insight as to what to expect after you have written your book or books and a publisher is thinking about picking you up, plus a whole bunch of other stuff to help you out no matter what stage you are in I highly recommend it flag Like see review Apr 10, 2011 Michelle Styles rated it really liked it A compliation of the best of his previous books, it is worth reading for the update of The Career Novelist alone Pure gold dust It s binding means that it can easily live on your desk Maass has once again produced a work of great value to the author who is truly interested in make her work the best it can be and making the most of her career flag Like see review Feb 20, 2012 Hunter rated it really liked it Recommends it for Writers Shelves writing This is a combination of the best parts of Writing a Breakout Novel , and The Fire in Fiction It s designed as a binder book, for easy reference Inside, the text is thick, however, making it difficult to pick up as a browse book one you can delve into at any point within and find something of interest My copy is ending up well earmarked, however flag Like see review Nov 07, 2015 Deborah M rated it really liked it review of another edition i found the author to be insightful and knowledgeable however, considering the massive appeal of ebooks, i found his comments to be a bit behind the times it would be interesting to know how he feels now about self publishing since there have been quite a few breakout novelists who started out with this method flag Like see review Jun 15, 2015 Katelyn Oster rated it liked it This book was objectively helpful, but only once the reader filters out the commentary that can be somewhat abrasive, rude, and negative As a budding writer and first time novelist, I would have to say that persistence and positivity is paramount to success This book helped with the basics, but didn t help me maintain my positivity and grit necessary to progress creatively flag Like see review Mar 27, 2011 Joanna Hunter rated it it was amazing This is a resource that will be an on going read as I work on my novel If you are a writer and Donald Maass offers a class in your area, I encourage you to go You will not be disappointed However, you will come home and tear your manuscript apart and rebuild it into a better book flag Like see review Mar 01, 2011 Terri rated it really liked it I was a bit fooled by this book It is not new content, rather it s a collection of chapters and updated information from Don s other books I love the format, however It s hardback, spiral bound It s lovely to have all of 75 exercises in one place flag Like see review Jul 25, 2012 Pam Torres rated it it was amazing Shelves writing craft I bought this book after listening to an inspiring address given by the author at this years PNWA conference It has been invaluable and find myself referring to it often I also really appreciated the examples of great writing which gave me books to add to my TBR list flag Like see review Jan 09, 2017 Nathanael Green rated it really liked it This was one of the most practical writing books I ve found Maass gives you clear, specific explanations along with great examples and exercises you can do to apply the lessons directly to what you re working on I highly recommend this for writers of all levels flag Like see review previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next new topicDiscuss This Book There are no discussion topics on this book yet Be the first to start one Recommend It Stats Recent Status Updates Readers Also Enjoyed More about Donald Maass Books by Donald Maass More Share This Book Tweet

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Quotes from The Breakout Nove In short, a premise is any single image, moment, feeling, or belief that has enough power and personal meaning for the author to set her story on fire, and propel it like a rocket for hundreds of pages 0 likes A work of fiction grips our imaginations because we care, both about the characters in the tale and about ourselves To put it another way, we are concerned about the outcome of the story because what is happening to the characters could happen to us 0 likes More quotes renderRatingGraph 140, 90, 31, 6, 1 if rating_details rating_details.insert top rating_graph 2017 Goodreads Inc about us advertise author program jobs api our blog authors advertisers blog terms privacy help switch to mobile version

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The Breakout Novelist Reviews

The Breakout Novelist
Mart Ramirez

Veteran agent, Donald Maass has put together another valuable book for writers I m not surprised If you ve read any of his writing books, then you know it s some serious stuff for serious writers A must have for fiction writers of all levels.If you re determined to learn how to be a breakout novelist, this is the book for you This comprehensive writing reference can help whether you re ready to submit or are just now learning the craft Donald s words of wisdom will lead you every step of th

The Breakout Novelist
Jacqui

I loved Donald Maass last book, Writing the Breakout Novel, and the title of this new one intrigued me How timely, with the empowerment of writers by self publishing on Maass thoughts on self pubs later and digital book sales blowing past traditional offerings Data shows a slew of new authors emboldened by a successful novel success being a relative word who want a career in writing I wanted Maass thoughts on the viability of that as well as how to do it.For those of you who don t

The Breakout Novelist
Derek

I ve been reading writing books since I started writing Some of them are really helpful, they have helped me improve my craft, fix a couple of recurring flaws, adjectives, show verses tell, that sort of thing After you ve read thirty plus writing craft books, they all kind of start to feel derivative Actually you start to skim Not with this book It s insightful, relevant and offers the greatesr example of craft pieces done well Not only does it stop there, it talks about the business o

The Breakout Novelist
Gabriella

I really enjoyed this one, and I learned a lot If anybody has the right to teach how to write, it s the people who buy books, represent books, and sell books Are movie ratings written by other actors and actresses and directors No Are sports writers league champions No Are museum curators artists themselves.No Then why is writing any different I ll never understand where the logic arose that only writers can rate other writings It s absurd, and it s flawed Any writer who feels that

The Breakout Novelist
Bob Miller

The Breakout Novelist by Donald Maass published by Writers Digest is about the factors that make a book become a best seller.It s mostly about what characteristics a book or story needs to have to move beyond mediocre or good to really great.Donald Maass is a well known agent editor who has helped several famous authors toward breakout success He s seen lots of books and knows what makes them great.I really enjoyed the chapters in this book that deal with writing help How to create characters

The Breakout Novelist
Debra

Regardless of how long one has been writing, good how to and inspirational books on the topic can offer fresh perspectives and solutions to problems with a manuscript Every writer needs to pause and reflect on where they ve come and where they want to go Every writer has weaknesses and concerns that need to be addressed before obtaining the type of contracts and sales that will enable them to earn a living from their work The Breakout Novelist book can help.I like that it addresses published

The Breakout Novelist
Haley Mathiot

Rating 4.5 The Breakout Novelist is a fantastic handbook that should be on every writer s desk It should be marked up, highlighted, paper clipped, and sticky noted if that s a word Let s pretend it is There is so much great advice and information in here it would take weeks and multiple readings to really get it all but it s not meant to be read through from start to finish It s a handbook, workbook, dictionary type tool There are many categories such as plot, theme, characters, chapter

The Breakout Novelist
Monica B.

Thoughtful and instructive, I felt like I ve learned so much in reading this book and revisit it often The exercises are filled with insight.

The Breakout Novelist
Dan Koboldt

This may be one of the best non fiction books on writing authorship that I ve ever read Don Maass not only addresses a number of craft issues that explain breakout novel successes, but also discusses long term strategies that have helped or hurt authors hoping to build long term careers One of my favorite quotes In both life and fiction, when people act in ways that are unusual, unexpected, dramatic, decisive, full of consequence, and irreversible, we remember them and talk about them for y

The Breakout Novelist
Beth

This one took me quite a bit of time to get through, because there s a lot of information AND opinion to navigate In terms of writing style and voice, it felt.conversational, but condescending somehow as well His asides were unnecessary, and there was some assume the reader is an idiot in them But if you gloss over those question answer insults, you ll find a lot of nuggets of info here The first half is all about the elements of a good novel, with a metric ton of examples of each exce

thumbnail Title: The Breakout Novelist
Author:Donald Maass
ISBN :1582979901
ranting: 3.5
Reviewer: 9 Reviews
Description: The all inclusive guide for novel writers

If you re serious about making your fiction vibrant, engaging, and marketable, you ve found the right book The Breakout Novelist gives you the craft

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