Richard Good's Reviews > The Fire in Fiction: Passion, Purpose and Techniques to Make Your Novel Great

The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass
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's review
Nov 27, 2011

it was amazing
Read in May, 2011

As a hopeful writer, I've been looking a long time for "just the right inspiration" to get me moving, and I suspect I am not alone. I'm sure that what I'm really looking for is something to make me quit playing the procrastination game. While Donald Maass' "The Fire in Fiction" contains advice that is similar to other writing-instruction manuals, it did have something that linked to a standard recommendation from similar books: If you want to know how to write well, read great examples. From this principle, coupled with the inspiration from Donald Maass (his "micro tension" concept is great!), I have come up with a personal challenge to help get me motivated and keep me moving.

The categories within "The Fire in Fiction" are constructed around a hundred samplings of published fiction, much of which comes from today's main-stream authors. Wanting to get the full benefit of this widely varied collection of writers, I went through Maass' book and made a complete list of the novels from which he drew excerpts. Over the past few months, while trying to keep my adventure economical, I have been scouring local used book stores and bringing home bags of fictional work ranging from the supernatural to the historical. Each title is right out of Maass' list. The only hard part now is choosing every few days which book to read next.

Thanks to "The Fire in Fiction", words are finally making their way from my mind to the page. I have been enjoying my new and eclectic assortment of novels, some more than others, but each one creating a different spark of inspiration for my writing. My plan is to continue finding as many of the novels as possible and writing reviews as I go, hence my joining the world of Goodreads. This helps fulfill the next basic principle of becoming a writer: write something...anything...but write something every day. Goodreads will be a place to go when inspiration is hard to find.

In each of my reviews, I will make reference to "The Fire in Fiction", how it connects with the novel I've read, and how it helps me in the challenge I have made for myself. We'll see how it goes!

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