Just What I’ve Always Wanted

I found TWO fabulous books this week that I have to share with anyone who’ll listen. The first is The Fire in Fiction: Passion, Purpose, and Techniques to Make Your Novel Great by Donald Maass. I picked up up on a whim at the bookstore, figuring it had to be good (because, let’s face it, everything Mr. Maass writes is good). Big pat on the back for me; I was right.

Mr. Maass runs a literary agency. Not only does he serve as an agent, but he’s written boatloads of novels and non-fiction books on the writing craft. He’s undeniably an expert in his field, which is identifying fantastic works of fiction. In this new book, he says that writing a great novel involves a passion for storytelling, and he shares some practical methods to master the craft.

The lessons in the book aren’t difficult to understand. He gives plenty of examples from other published works and his explanations are concise. By far the best part, for me, are the exercises at the end of each chapter. I usually groan when I see a list of exercises, because they have nothing to do with my work in progress. All of the exercises in this book, however, applied to my current project and opened my eyes to all the wonderful ways to make my story better. Now I’m anxious to quit blogging so I can open the manuscript.

Next time, I’ll blog on the other fabulous book I found. For what it’s worth.

-Sonja

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