Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What I've learned so far from "The Fire in Fiction" by Donald Maass

Okay, this was one of the books that I bought with my Christmas B&N gift card and I'm about half way through. So far, it's a big help, as much a help as his other book, "Writing the Breakout Novel." I've decided to post interesting tid bits from the book as I go on reading it.

The most helpful advice for me, so far, is that every chapter must have a turning point: both an outer turning point in the plot/events, and an inner turning point in the character's motivations. Now, the outer turning point is the easier one for me, it's the inner turning point that's hard to pin down. Both turning points should relate to each other, such as: the outer turning point changes the characters POV and causes he/she to think/act a certain way.

Very helpful advice.

I've been constructing my scenes with a main purpose in mind and going from there. I find I have much more focus and can write faster when I know exactly where I'm going and why. Also, it helps me identify the inner struggle that each character faces and whose POV to write the scene in.

What do you think of this advice? Do you have turning points to every chapter?


Cherie Reich said...

I think that is good advice. I've read one of the main things for each chapter is that you should leave it hanging as well to keep the reader wanting to go to the next chapter. I've been thinking of that advice when I'm going back through my novels' rewrites and asking myself "Is the chapter relevant to the book and leaves the reader wanting more?" If I can't say yes, then I have to fix it or scrap the chapter.

Unknown said...

That is good advice!

Aubrie said...

Good Advice, Cherie! I need to keep my chapters hanging and have a turning point. *goes back to her desk to think*

Amy Allgeyer Cook said...

I have been working through his 'Breakout Novel' book with my WIP. 'Fire in Fiction' sounds great too, but I might have to wait until the next WIP.

:) Good luck!

Aubrie said...

Thanks, Amy!

Lisa Rusczyk said...

I guess if you want to write popular fiction this is great advice. And I like reading popular fiction, and I have noticed writers I like often do this. I don't know if I am clever enough to write that way, but I'd like to write more mainstream fiction like that.

sanjeet said...

That is good advice!

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