Title: Writing the Breakout Novel
Author: Donald Maass
Genre: Self Help
Story: The title is self explanatory…
What Worked: If you’re looking for a book to tell you EXACTLY what you need to do to be successful in the writing and publishing world, you are never going to find it. Writing, and each and every book has so many different moving parts (layers, plots, sub plots, characters, tone, setting, arch, etc. etc. etc.) – what I’m trying to say is there is no book that can give the magic solution to YOUR work. You have to invest the time and grow as a writer. Similar to any other type of art. What I loved about this book, is it didn’t give corny advice that I’ve read in many other self help books. What it does do for you, is directs you to the questions you should be asking yourself about your own writing and work. I made so many notes on my phone while reading this book! So many Aha! moments that resonated strongly with “issues” I knew were in my own writing, but I couldn’t figure out how to improve.
What Needed Work: Published in 2002, it’s a bit dated. It would be nice if he made an amended version. The industry has changed in many ways (increase in self publishing, trends in genres, etc.) and it would be informative to hear what his thoughts are on the subjects 15 years later…He does participate and speak in many writing conferences so that is probably his forum for such.
Overall: This book is a great read for all levels of writing, there’s a little bit of something for everyone. Donald has been in the publishing business as an agent for over 20 years – the book almost reads like a “PLEASE don’t send out your work like this…this is what we are looking for…this is what readers want to read…I’m tired of reading bad manuscripts.” Which I’m ok with because I HONESTLY want to know what it takes to make it as an author. There is also a work book that you can buy to accompany the read…but I did not.
If you wanna read: Amazon
Follow the author: Twitter