Sure, Maass deals with all the elements of a good novel—characterization, plot, setting, pace, ending, etc., but in ways that had me analyzing my manuscript constantly. The wheels in my head were turning so fast, I felt almost overwhelmed as I was drinking it all in. This is not a book to be read once. No way. Every page is good. And there are 343 pages of it. To illustrate the point being discussed, plenty of examples were drawn from books of various genres, some of which I had read and a lot of which I hadn't. And so I took notes.
This book was reflective for me as well as instructive. Today, with print-on-demand, almost anyone can publish a book. But as an author, you just don't want to publish a book for the sake of publishing a book. It's not enough. You want to publish a novel readers will care enough about, not only to read, but to talk about afterwards, a novel about something close to your heart, a novel you will slave after because it matters, a novel that is the breakout novel.
As a book reviewer, I read about 100 books a year, and I quickly understood what Maass was talking about as in my mind I could mentally pick out the books that really stood out to me as breakout novels, no matter what their genre or topic. That's the kind of book I want to write. If you're looking to write a great novel, a breakout novel, then this book is the one you need to read. Now. Highly recommended for any and all writers, experienced or not.
About the Author:
Donald Maass, author of The Breakout Novelist: Craft and Strategies for Career Fiction Writers, heads the Donald Maass Literary Agency in New York City, which represents more than 150 novelists and sells more than 100 novels every year to publishers in America and overseas. He is a past president of the Association of Authors Representatives, Inc., and is the author of several books.
For more information, please visit http://www.maassagency.com/ and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter
Check out this Writer's Digest Q&A With Donald Maass
Thanks to the publicist at FSB Associates, I have one copy to give away. Entering is easy. Visit my writer's blog NouveauWriter for a chance to win!
Disclosure: Thanks to Ruby Mansuri from FSB Associates for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.