- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Writer's Digest Books (June 26, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 158297506X
- ISBN-13: 978-1582975061
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 89 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #242,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
The Fire in Fiction: Passion, Purpose and Techniques to Make Your Novel Great Paperback – June 26, 2009
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
About the Author
Donald Maass is president of the Donald Maass Literary Agency in New York, which he founded in 1980. He represents more than 100 fiction writers and sells more than 100 novels per year to top publishers in America and overseas. He is himself the author of fourteen pseudonymous novels and of the books The Career Novelist (Heineman, 1996), Writing the Breakout Novel (Writer's Digest Books, 2001) and Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook (Writer's Digest Books, 2004). He is a past president of the Association of Authors' Representatives, Inc. (AAR). Don tours the country giving one-day workshops based on his popular book, Writing the Breakout Novel.
Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features:
Read reviews that mention
Showing 1-7 of 89 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The format of the book is a series of examples and half-page quotes which Donald thought illustrated a point, followed by his commentary.
The last couple chapters were amazing. Second to last chapter was entitled "tension everywhere" and I think improved my abilities as a writer:
"Micro-tension is the moment-by-moment tension that keeps the reader in a constant state of suspense over what will happen, not in the story but in the next few seconds."
And (spoiler) here's the Fire in Fiction, another great concept:
"Originality comes not from your genre, setting, plot, characters, voice, or any other element on which you can work. It cannot. It isn't possible. Originality can come only from what you bring of yourself to your story. In other words, originality is not a function of your novel; it is a quality in you."
My one complaint is that the writing was a bit loose. Sometimes, he'd write for a paragraph about a book of some kind, only to say, "Ok, now we'll ignore that book and talk about something else that author wrote." By the end of my book, my head was swimming after going through SO MANY examples from SO MANY books.
Still, very, very helpful.
I was grabbed from the opening pages. There, Maass talked about why some books from well-known authors, or authors who've written several books in a series go south. Having experienced that phenomenon as a reader I really wanted to understand how to avoid that problem as a writer.
This book is filled with great examples of good writing with explanations of WHY the writing is good. There's also some neat exercises at the end of each chapter that guide a writer in thinking through their own process, as it relates to the chapter's topic, i.e. scenes, character, protagonists, etc.
A great read and one I'll go back and read again.
This book advances The Breakout Novel by going through the modern genres and updating where they stand today, and exploring in depth what creates prose we want to read.
Guess what? It's not many of the things other books tell you.
He also gives away a lot of the common cliches writers submit to his agency. Got a thriller about an unearthed archeological artifact? Scenes where the hero ponders what just happened and decides what to do next?
If you're on the A list, you probably think you don't need this book -- I won't mention any names, but I can think of some big names who've fallen into bad habits.
If you're just beginning, you won't understand it. Get more basic books about plot, point of view and so.
For those of us in the huge space between beginner and A List, this book is a blessing.