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on January 17, 2014
It is the breakout novel workbook. I read many books on craft of writing, some books giving tips and exercises for writers to do which I almost never did before because they were BORING.
I admit this workbook is wonderful. With exercises given to a novelist, a person builds a wonderful story. I did every exercise and couldn't stop. I wrote 15,000 words just brainstorming. No, I didn't finish the project yet. It has so much depth. It will take me awhile to put everything together. But I know I'll never run dry.

The author of this workbook teaches you how to motivate your characters whose actions aren't predicted by readers, giving you tips how to build believable twists and suspense throughout.

This workbook teaches you how to build three dimentional characters. I wanted to say four dimentional, but the term doesn't exist. It goes beyond everything I have read on building three dimentional characters.

He shows you how to build the main plot, subplots, and how to deepen character layers. He combines and puts everything together as a package at the end. And indeed, anyone who goes over these excercise or not will never look the same way at characters and plots.

If you're wondering if this workbook contains the same information as the book, I tell you it is MUCH BETTER than a book. If you have to decide, choose this workbook because it gives you lessons throughout and expands on the information given in the book of this series. I did read the book. But the workbook contained ALMOST everything that's in the book and MORE.

The book does have just a tiny bit info that's not included in a workbook. I forgot what that tiny bit of info is. But I remember I made a mental note it wasn't so much important. That is most likely why I can't remember it now. It wasn't that important--go figure.
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on August 19, 2016
If you're a fiction author you pretty much NEED this workbook when you've finished your first draft. I've used it for 9 of my novels, and the process won me a Christy award and more contracts. Be prepared to work your tail off. Be prepared for it to be worth it. Nancy Rue
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VINE VOICEon April 2, 2013
WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL WORKBOOK, by DONALD MAASS, hands down, is one of the best books I've read on the craft of writing. Easy to read, with great examples and worksheets.

It's not only a book that will help you develop your writing skills, but shows you how to write a bestseller, as well as get your proposal past the rejection pile.

A glimpse into what to expect in this amazing book:

* Building plot layers
* Creating inner conflict
* Strengthening voice and point of view
* Discovering and heightening larger-than-life character qualities
* Strengthening theme
* And much more!

I loved the detailed references to several bestselling authors' novels. By the end of the workbook, I had a good list going of books to read and study.

Whether you are a new writer, or one that has been struggling for years, WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL WORKBOOK, by DONALD MAASS is the book for you. Make it your next to purchase. You won't regret it.
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on April 4, 2010
When I first began working through this workbook, I did not heed Donald's first suggestion. It was not long before I realised that were I to succeed, as was his intention, I needed to read his book, 'Writing the Breakout Novel'- FIRST.
Sage advice.

Now as I push myself through the pages of the workbook, I understand the depth behind his lessons.

Be prepared to exorcise your inner self to create the best novel you can. Donald Maass is to writing as Tony Horton is to fitness, and 'Writing the Breakout Novel workbook' is the P90X of novel writing. He will make your brain sweat, push you beyond your comfort zone to show you how to get the most out of each character, flex your creative muscles as you go deep to develop your plots, while you heighten tension to deliver a novel, which cannot help but burn with cadence, resonate with readers, and leave them wanting more.

Is that not what you wanted to do? Write that Breakout Novel?

I wish you well in your endeavour.
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on March 16, 2015
I love the workbook format, even though I don't actually write in the book. I actually like to do the first half of the book before I have a working manuscript- I use it to fine-tune my ideas for a story. The second half of the book I use after having written a first draft. I really love that you can use this workbook for every single genre of fiction.
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on July 7, 2010
Maass' workbook is terrific. My only problem while using it was that Maass intended for it to serve both as a companion piece as you write your novel, or as a workbook afterward. That makes it difficult at times. He asks questions that require you to be far along in your book, yet the whole purpose of the book is to ratchet up your novel to break out level. Still, after years of writing, and having read tons of writing books, I think his is one of the best. It does require you make your own way, it is not paint by numbers. The book does not do the heavy lifting for you. He says in the intro that you can do the exercises while writing. They require a lot of work, but in the end I do believe he is on to something, and I highly recommend the book.
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on March 16, 2018
Well laid out and helpful.
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on January 17, 2017
a great book I am glad I have it, as it will help me write better because it gives me information I never realized on setting up conflict and characters, look forward to finishing it
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on August 17, 2013
Reading The Breakout Novel Workbook was like being in a creative writing class. Every page made my novel-in-progress better and better. I could envision my novel as a break-out. The exercises were invaluable. I attended a Donald Maas writing workshop when he came to Tallahassee, FL for a writers conference sponsored the by Tallahassee Writers Association. That workshop turned my debut YA novel into an award-winning novel. I'm optimistic that The Breakout Novel Workbook will make my next novel a bestseller.
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on February 23, 2018
Terrific exercises help take you through the planning, plotting, editing, and all other aspects of writing. You only need to add the time.
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