Writing the Breakout Novel sounds like everyone''s dream. Everyone wants to be a writer but few have the patience for it, sometimes that''s even true for writers themselves, and even though the title implies it, inside Maass makes it clear that although the exercises can help your work stand out from the rest, he promises no acceptance on first submission, no six figure deal, and still a lot of bashing your face on the keyboard to get through. Not scared yet? If not then I''m impressed because I was really scared, but I still write, so it can''t be so bad. If you can''t find the workbook in your local library then I''d suggest finding Writing the Breakout Novel instead, the book written before Maass had the brilliant idea to turn the book into a workbook and get it out to writers who want to improve their craft. Back to the workbook, the book is just that, a workbook, filled with questions and suggestions that require you to write in the book and to start writing now, as soon as you''ve finished reading the question on the page. I did exactly that until it occurred to me to just photocopy the pages and write on the spares. Thank God I was using a pencil. I have a better idea of what makes a character human (flaws) and what makes a villain more than just a mean person (have him think he''s in the right and not doing anything wrong).
Even though I''ve read through the book cover to cover and have still yet to get a publishing contract (we''ll blame it on my fear of submitting and being rejected rather than the Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook) I know I''ve improved since purchasing the book by reading over my old material, comments in my critique group, and my confidence to sit down at he computer. All I need is the confidence to send out my work and the patience to wait for a reply, but we all need to do one thing at a time. If you don''t have the money to get it, no problem, like I said before, go to the library, or failing that, borrow it from a friend who might have a copy, or even get one for cheap off e-bay, either way, the book if worth a look at, even if you don''t sleep with it under your pillow.