Wit 'n Wisdom of Janice LaQuiere

Monday, September 25, 2006

Writing the Breakout Novel - Ch. 1

At long last I've come within site of the end of my current WIP ("work-in-progress" for those none writers out there.)

I've recently joined a small group that intends to work their way through Writing The Breakout Novel by Donald Maas. I've read through this book before and it became one of my favorite books on writing. It's an easy read that points out the elements included in a successful novel. (For example: The idea to include conflict on every page...it's the conflict that keeps the reader reading.)

For those interested, I've included the points from Chapter One:

1. To survive in today's book publishing industry, it is not good enough to get published

2. The midlist is in trouble, and this time it's for real. (Because people are changing how they spend their leisure time, books are more expensive, the industry is changing.)

3. Even so, authors are breaking out.

4. The root cause of most midcareer meltdows is the author's own writing. (Which means that we have success within our grasp.)

5. Success (sales) Does not come from agents, advances, editors or promotions....it comes from word of mouth.

6. The e-revolution may not save us; indded, it may not happen. (Maass implies that if anything e-books may lend itself to lesser quality books. And even with e-books we must strive for that "breakout novel")

7. Breakout-level fiction is the key to survival and to getting ahead.


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