Fire in Fiction: Novels are Intimate

We’re once again at Except Thursday.

I just decided that today I would excerpt again from Donald Maass’ The Fire In Fiction, the book I’m currently reading.

Why? I’m inspired by Maass’ book. Reading it makes me want to work on my novel. I hope it can inspire you too to work on your novel.

The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass “Novels are unique among art forms in their intimacy. They can take us inside a character’s heart and mind right away. And that is where you readers want to be. Go there immediately. And when you do, show us what your hero is made of. If you accomplish that, then the job of winning us over is done.”

Reading Maass’ book over my peanut butter and toast and coffee this morning gave me a new idea for my work-in-progress. Start the book from the villain’s point of view, highlighting his humanity and showing the stakes of the book right up front. I have to say that I’m pretty happy with the effect. We’ll see what my critique group thinks when I meet with them in a few weeks.

Maass encourages to make our villains more human and therefore more scary. He wants us to make our fiction great by making our ordinary heros more hero-like, and our hero more humane. I can’t teach you how. Just read his book.

c. 2009 Beth Barany
Owner of this blog, Writer’s Fun Zone, Beth is also the author of The Writer’s Adventure Guide: 12 Stages to Writing Your Book. Who Beth helps are aspiring authors. She helps them get their books written and out into the world.

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