I wanted to share a few takeaways from the pages of Donald Maass’ Writing the Breakout Novel. There is so much good advice in his book. I’m only scratching the surface with the following:
- Great novels have tension on every page.
- Great stories involve great events.
- Breakout novels takes us somewhere else.
- We read to imagine ourselves as we might be.
- Key ingredients of a bestseller include plausibility, inherent conflict, originality, and gut emotional appeal.
- Readers are concerned about a story’s outcome because it could happen to them.
- Deeps wells of conflict are fundamental to a breakout novel.
- The reader must sympathize with the protagonist.
What do you think about these tips on writing a NY Times bestseller?
[Donald Maass is a literary agent and novelist. He’s written over seventeen novels as well as several books on writing fiction.]