Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Fire in Fiction

At last year's Surrey International Writers Conference, I took a master class from well-known agent Donald Maass. Laptops and notebooks in hand, we rewrote a scene from our own work, adding tension to dialogue, looking for sensory details only our protagonists would notice, etc. The scene I worked on that day is, IMHO, by far the best-written scene in my WIP. (Unfortunately, it's not terribly relevant to my plot based on how the story developed in later scenes, and my critique partners are telling me I might need to kill this particular darling.)

The Fire in Fiction (2009) amounts to nine of those master classes. (And the exercises from ours are found in Ch. 3.) It's full of ideas for strengthening your fiction, along with examples from published novels, most of them recent, with exercises that strike me as actually useful. The copy I read belongs to the library, but I'm going to be getting my own for use in polishing the WIP for submission. I recommend it highly for writers who are ready to go beyond the usual writing guides with their lectures on how to outline and interview your characters and excise adverbs.

No comments: