“Writing the Breakout Novel: Insider Advice for Taking Your Fiction to the Next Level” by Donald Maass

From Library Journal
In today’s world, an author who doesn’t produce a breakout novel risks getting lost in the midlist of the publishing world. Maass, the author of 17 novels who now works as a literary agent representing such distinguished writers as Anne Perry and James Patterson, knows firsthand what makes a novel rise above its category in the already saturated book market. Using his own clients as case studies, Maass defines the most crucial elements of a breakout novel a powerful sense of time and place, larger-than-life characters, a high degree of tension, good subplots, and universal themes and shows the reader how to use these elements efficiently to write a novel that will generate interest and have the potential to hit the best sellers lists. Each section ends with checklists for review. Recommended for all public libraries serving communities with struggling writers. Lisa J. Cihlar, Monroe P.L., WI

Product Description
A breakout novel is one that rises out if its category – such as literary fiction, mystery, romance, or thriller – and hits the bestseller charts. Maass explains the elements that all breakout novels share and shows readers how to use these elements to write a novel that has a good chance of succeeding in a crowded marketplace. They’ll learn to: – Create a powerful and sweeping sense of time and place – Develop larger-than-life characters – Sustain a high degree of narrative tension from start to finish – Weave sub-plots into the main action – Explore universal themes that will interest a large audience

About Donald Maass:

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.  You’ll find over 70 practical exercises to help you move from blah to breakout.  You’ll also learn from Maass’ experience from more 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.

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