Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass (Part 1)

This entry is part 1 of 27 in the series Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass

Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass

Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass is one of those books that will hit you in the gut. But like anything that does that to you, this one will eventually wear on your patience because in the end it is you, the author, who needed to get to work. No one can tell you exactly what it is you need to do, but they can show you the way to get there and the questions you might want to ask. In the end, it’s work, hard work and honesty that will set your book apart from the pack. Maass’ voice is a dose of realism in the vast ocean of pretty self-help writing guides.

Is this Book for You?

Are you stuck in a rut? Are you blaming your lack of success on everything but your own writing? This book is for you.

That said, if you are just starting down the path to writing, I don’t think you’ll get all that much from the book except the idea that you can follow a formula and slam out a bestseller. I’m not trying to discourage you, but really there are a lot of nuances in this text that you will only recognize when you’ve spent a lot of hours planning and revising your own work (and studying the works of others).


This is the book that started it all.

A fairly heavy lead-in, I know, but really this is the book that started me down the path to reexamining everything I was doing. After more than fifteen years of scribbling, I thought I knew what the writing game was all about and in a way, I guess I did. I knew one side of the business, the literary side.

Only I wasn’t very good at it, and therein lies the problem.

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