Last week I reviewed Donald Maass' Writing the Breakout Novel. This week, we'll take a look at the companion workbook.
After you read Writing the Breakout Novel to learn the specific concepts Maass has pulled from authors' breakout novels. Then, grab Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook, a pad and pen, and start working through the exercises.
The exercises are grouped into three categories: Character Development, Plot Development, and General Story Techniques. You can pay about a thousand dollars to attend one of Maass' week long workshops, or use the book, which contains all 34 writing exercises used in the class.
Here's a quote from Maass' motivational introduction.
"On the following pages you will learn how to read a novel like a writer, understanding the technique and motivation behind every choice an author makes. You will find help in making your characters more memorable, adding layers of plot and weaving them together, discovering the themes hidden in your work, using time and place more effectively, and much more. There is also a first-line brainstorming session, a pitch factory, and a tension tune up--probably the most difficult yet necessary section of the book Do not skip that one."
Maass read more than 100 breakout novels and compared them to discover what made them stand out. His tips will make your fiction stronger, no matter what the genre.