I recently won The Fire In Fiction: Passion, Purpose, and Techniques To Make Your Novel Great by Donald Maass on Novel Journey. I am not rushing through this book, but am trying to savor and soak in all he has to teach. I thought I’d share with you some of the things I am learning as I read through this amazing book. You definitely need to get this book. It will be a great tool in your writing arsenal.
In the Introduction, Maass speaks of the myth that writing is magic. Not so, says he! Too often multi-published authors will sometimes spit out a not-so-fantastic novel. Do they get in a rut? Do they lose their muse? Or do they lose their passion?
Maass offers the point that passion can be harnessed and used as a tool. Passion happens when an author makes every word come alive and add spark each and every page. It can be learned.
Mass boils down the problem to the basic reason why some authors lose that fire, that passion. From his experience, he sees two types of authors. There are the Status Seekers and the Storytellers. Hard to distinguish at first, the types emerge as the journey progresses.
Status Seekers want to be published. Storytellers do too, but a Status Seeker will not devote all his energies in making the best book possible. He will do all he can to figure out how to get published; how he can do this or that to make it acceptable, how to find the right formula for success, etc.
Storytellers want to spin the best story possible. While they might not like the waiting that comes with submissions, they persistently push forward to become the best writer they can be. Sure, they may want the process to be faster, but they focus on their writing. My favorite line in this intro is this:
“Storytellers look not to publishers to make them successful, but
Storytellers want each and very one of their books to be better than the one before. The are constantly looking to make the great story.
It made me wonder what I am? I think maybe a little of both at this point. What about you?