In this final installment of my recent wanderings through the non-fiction ‘shelves’, I’ll wrap with a fascinating and amazing book about writing:
The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass.
This is hardly Maass’ first book on the craft of writing, but if you write fiction it’s definitely one you’ll want to add to your reference shelf. The Fire in Fiction is a fantastic book for writers who are dedicated to improving their craft. Maass, an agent with an outstanding record in the publishing industry delivers an informative book with wit, care, and thought provoking assessment and exercises.
The Fire in Fiction is worth every penny and it’s packed with tips for writing in any genre, even paranormal romance novels.
I first heard about this book during an eye-opening workshop presented by Maass at the RWA conference in Washington, D.C. a few years ago. On the way home from conference, I called my husband and asked him to have the book waiting for me. I dove into it as soon as I walked through the door.
Working my way through the chapters of The Fire in Fiction, I experienced the ups and downs of feeling like I could craft a great novel, to feeling like a hack. Then I’d get to the exercises and tips for writing at the end of each chapter. In tackling those exercises and applying the presented concepts to my manuscript, I’d feel absolutely empowered.
That’s a serious skill, to make a creature as insecure as a writer feel empowered about a work in progress and I’ll be forever thankful for Maass.
Using passages from outstanding authors, Maass illustrates the key elements that will resonate with readers of every genre from crime fiction to paranormal romance.
For awhile I blogged about The Fire in Fiction, ala Julie & Julia. I’ve since taken the site down, but it was such a great project and Maass’ tips for writing, his advice, and suggestions for evaluating everything from ‘once upon a time’ to ‘the end’ means this book stays on my reference shelf. I may even buy the kindle edition, as I frequently work on my alphasmart away from my main desk and my kindle is (obviously) portable.
The Fire in Fiction changed my attitude as well as my writing and revising habits. If you’re a writer and want to do one thing for your craft, the writing tips and advice Maass packs into The Fire in Fiction is one of the best options available today.
Live the adventure!