Monday, September 21, 2009

The Secret to a Breakout Novel

Ironically, I experienced my first “stranger than fiction” moment at a fiction writers’ conference last week. ACFW. In the middle of these courses in Denver, I received emails and recorded messages from the police in my Chicago suburb and from the superintendent of the school district. An armed convict had escaped, carjacked a Jetta by gunpoint, robbed a bank nearby and was fleeing in the suburbs. The schools were on a soft lockdown. Wow! And that was real life!

I’m glad to report that the armed and dangerous convict was caught, and suburbia has settled back into its comfortable and mundane normalcy. But what an important lesson to illustrate the secret to a breakout novel that Donald Maass shared at the ACFW conference in Denver: Tension.

His course literally has now changed the course of my writing. Yes, I returned home and began to completely rewrite and overhaul my novel, but I now have a mandated direction. He signed my copy of his bestselling book, Writing the Breakout Novel with the following inscription: “For Margaret. Tension on every page! Donald Maass.” That’s it! Tension on every page! An excerpt from an expert!

And for those readers of my From Finance to Fiction blog, I would like to give you a chance to win a signed copy of Donald Maass’s book. I purchased an extra one at the conference. Please post a comment and share your “stranger than fiction” moment. I look forward to hearing from you. And by the way, Donald Maass is holding on very tightly to his tomato sauce recipe. Please share your recipes with me. I’m always looking forward to a delicious dish that isn’t too time consuming.

Here’s a peek into some upcoming blog posts. Debbie Macomber’s advice to writers. Ken Petersen’s thoughts on what is next in CBA fiction, along with his recipe for pumpkin cheesecake.

Take away Tip:
Sample some figs this autumn season Cut them in half and spread a little cream cheese or goat cheese on them and enjoy! A delicious antioxidant. They also are scrumptious baked.

1 comment:

  1. Stranger than fiction: I read and love a manuscript by a 15-year-old Australian author, steer her to four US agents; all request fulls and three offer representation. In less than three weeks. Bam. And I got to watch from the sidelines.



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