Monthly Archives: April 2017

Some Recommends for Reading

So, you’re into writing fiction, think you are near the end of your book, you have edited it, have hired an editor, had your friends read it, maybe you even took it to an English Professor at your local college. Good for you. Still have a nagging feeling that there’s more you could do to make your novel better? There’s good news: I have two books that will guide you through taking some final steps to making your work of art better.
The first is a Workbook that accompanies a book of almost the same name. It’s the workbook I’m recommending. It’s Donald Maass’s, “Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook.” It tells you how to revisit your writing in a purposeful way to make it better. It has, with each chapter, exercises you can go through to make your work stand out.
I’ll list the chapter names for the first five chapters:
From Protagonist to Hero
Multidimensional Characters
Inner Conflict
Larger-than-life Character Qualities
Heighten Larger-than-life Qualities
The exercises in each chapter are the thing that makes this workbook valuable.
The second book I’d recommend is, “5 Editors Tackle the 12 Fatal Flaws of Fiction Writing, C.S. Lakin, et al.
Again, I’ll give you the titles of the first five chapters:
Flaw #1 Overwriting
Flaw #2 Nothin’ Happenin’
Flaw #3 Weak Construction
Flaw #4 Too Much Backstory
Flaw #5 POV Violations
There are two things that make this book of interest: First, I have heard many of the issues brought up at conferences, critique groups, and elsewhere, but rarely from an editor’s point of view. The book has examples in each chapter and recommendations for recommendations for remedy. This is a book filled with basic, down-to-earth suggestions for improvement of your work.
Secondly, and somewhat akin to the first point. Editors wrote this. Often, when I hear what editors want, it is second or third hand. Here five editors share their secrets without filters. They even comment on each other’s ideas. Their writing is practical, not pretentious. It is a rich book, filled with valuable information that any serious author should have.