Monday, April 27, 2009

The Fire In Fiction by Donald Maass

The other month I saw an ad in Writer's Digest magazine for The Fire In Fiction: Passion, Purpose and Techniques to Make Your Novel Great by Donald Maass. Having read Maass's previous (and stellar) writing how-to book Writing the Break-Out Novel, I was immediately intrigued.
Hot off the press, The Fire In Fiction is now available! I wish I had a copy of this book in hand right now as I write my third novel, but I hopefully will soon.

Here's some info I found to whet your whistle at the Writer's Digest website:

About the Book

We’ve all read them: novels by our favorite authors that disappoint. Uninspired and lifeless, we wonder what happened. Was the author in a hurry? Did she have a bad year? Has he lost interest altogether?

Something similar is true of a great many unpublished manuscripts. They are okay stories that never take flight. They are unoriginal. They don’t grip the imagination, let alone the heart. They merit only a shrug and a polite dismissal by agents and editors. It’s almost as if the author is afraid to truly commit to the story.

It doesn’t have to be that way. In The Fire in the Fiction, successful literary agent and author Donald Maass shows you not only how to infuse your story with deep conviction and fiery passion, but how to do it over and over again. The book features:

• Techniques for capturing a special time and place, creating characters whose lives matter, nailing multiple-impact plot turns, making the supernatural real, infusing issues into fiction, and more.
• Story-enriching exercises at the end of every chapter to show you how apply the practical tools just covered to your own work.
• Rich examples drawn from contemporary novels as diverse as The Lake House, Water for Elephants, and Jennifer Government to illustrate how various techniques work in actual stories.

Plus, Maass introduces an original technique that any novelist can use any time, in any scene, in any novel, even on the most uninspired day … to take the most powerful experiences from your personal life and turn those experiences directly into powerful fiction.

Want to read an excerpt? Click here to learn:

• Why strong secondary characters are so important
• Tips for making sure that a character’s special-ness stems from his or her impact on the protagonist
• How to figure out which secondary characters deserve an elevated status

3 comments:

Cheryl said...

I don't need another writing book. I don't need another writing book.
Ha. Who am I trying to kid? Thanks for posting about this book, C.J.!

warrenjc said...

I have this book and although I write nonfiction, it was a big help in helping me with that endeavor. I use fiction techniques in my nonfiction writing. Noah Lukeman's book, "The First Five Pages" is very good also because if you don't capture the publisher in the first five pages, it ends up in the slush pile. Of course this depends on the prose because you might not lasso him/her in the first page. Probably the best fiction how-to book I personally have read is James Scott Bell's "Plot and Structure." But the "Breakout" book is great.

Rachel said...

ordering it immediately.