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Posts tagged ‘Don Maass’

How keeping a writing practice list can increase your NaNoWriMo word count

Today is the seventh day of NaNoWriMo and, amazingly, I’m on track with my word count! But I need to plan ahead for the rest of this week because, starting tomorrow, I’ll be attending the Story Masters writing intensive with Literary Agent Don Maass, author and writing mentor James Scott Bell, and Chris Vogler, a Hollywood development guru and author of The Writer’s Journey.

I’m super excited and blessed to be able to attend this event but that also means I’ll have to find snatches of time for writing to make sure I stay on top of my Nano goals. We’ll have writing opportunities in class and an evening gathering of fellow NaNoWriMos so that will help. My plan is to break it up in 500 to 700 word segments until I reach my goal for each day.

I’m also making a Writing Practice list (ala Natalie Goldberg). These are ideas that pop up as I’m writing that I add to an ongoing list and that become writing topics for later. I call it my WP list. Read more

How to create fiction that moves readers

Literary agent and writing teacher Donald Maass says the most successful novels of the early 21st Century are beautifully written while telling powerful stories. He predicts less focus on genre and more focus on fiction that moves people.

What moves people? What connects readers to the heart of our characters? Emotions.

At the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Conference last month, Maass spoke about how to achieve an emotional landscape in our novels.

He says to ask yourself what new emotions you’ve experienced this year.  Then ask: is there a place in your manuscript where a character can feel this emotion? Read more