It is nice as a new fiction writer to see that a writer I admire also struggles on a project.
I’m currently reading Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass. This will probably strike some people as funny or ironic or something. I’m twenty-two published novels into my career, right? My first novel was a breakout novel. (In fact, Maass talks about the Kitty series in one of his other books on writing, The Fire in Fiction.) Surely I’ve got this covered, right?
The current thing I’m working on is different from anything I’ve ever written. I’m on a third draft and it’s not there yet. So I’m hitting the books, getting back to basics. Trying to figure out what I’m missing, what I need to focus on.
And it’s humbling, because in this book Maass explicitly talks about how his audience isn’t necessarily new writers, but mid-career writers who’ve maybe hit a wall.
The good news is I’ve got a couple of pages of notes now…
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