Monday, July 6, 2009

My Writing Bookshelf - Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook by Donald Maass.

Last week I joined a new group and we're working our way through "Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook" by Donald Maass. I'm finding it very helpful so I thought I'd talk about the workbook today.

Donald Maass is the president and founder of the Donald Maass Literary Agency. He teaches writing workshops and he's written novels under pseudonyms. Besides the workbook he's written "The Career Novelist" and "Writing the Breakout Novel."

The blurbs all say the workbook builds on the success of it predecessor. I don't have a copy of "Writing the Breakout Novel." But I was told that the workbook covers the same topics and has the advantage of the exercises at the end of each chapter. I didn't feel like I was missing anything by not reading the book first.

The workbook is divided into three sections.
Part 1: Character Development
Part 2: Plot Development
Part 3: General Story Techniques

Each section is further divided into chapters with discussions, excerpts from published works and practical exercises.

I've only done the first three chapters and already I've made major improvements in my characters. This is a definite keeper.
Publisher: Writers Digest Books (June 14, 2004)
ISBN: 158297263X
Paperback: 240 Pages
Price: $19.99