Sunday, September 28, 2008

Breakout Book

I'm reading Donald Maas's Writing the Breakout Novel. Have you read it? It's challenging my story ideas, which of course is Donald Mass's point. You don't want to write A Story; you want to write A Breakout Story.

Donald Maas asks a lot of pointed questions, including:
- Why are you writing this story?
- If you stopped writing this story, why would it matter?

Hmmm. Good questions. Can we answer them? I'll go first.

I usually find the purpose for the stories I write in the themes the characters are trying to convey. I think I may have mentioned that before. If I have trouble with a scene, I go back to my theme.

For example, in my last romantic suspense, On Fire, the theme is trust. I wrote the story to express my belief that trust is a vital part of any relationship. If I didn't write that story, I wouldn't be able to express how a lack of trust could destroy a relationship.

In my contemporary romance, which I just completed, Sweet Deception, the theme is identity. That story is important because the conflict is one a lot of people, especially women, experience. Do you define yourself or do you allow others to define you? In addition to entertaining readers, I hope the story inspires those in similar situations to define themselves.

What about you? Why are you writing your story?



Rhonda McKnight said...

Writing the Breakout Novel is a great craft book. Really makes you think.

I'm writing my current story, because it's the sequel to my first novel, but more importantly I think my readers will really want to find out what happens to my bad girl, like where is she wreaking havoic now and as Christian Fiction novelist, will this woman get redeemed.

There are alot books in AA literature that glorify manstealing. I think my novels will show there is a sisterhood among women that would be a blessing if we would embrace it or at the minimum respect it. Now the question is, will my character find that out in time?

patricia sargeant said...

Rhonda, I love redemption stories. I also appreciate the message about a sisterhood among women. That's a great message. Thanks for sharing. Happy writing!

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