Writing 21st Century Fiction

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Donald Maass, a New York literary agent, keeps a close eye on the bestseller list in the New York Times. Checking it (in 2011) he found that most books held their place on the list for no more than three weeks. There were exceptions of course, titles that stayed on the list for over a year. But then Mr Maass made an important discovery: nearly all the books that stayed on the list for long periods had originally been categorised as literary fiction.

If books started as literary fiction but then turned into blockbuster bestsellers, they must have done something right. What were they doing right?

To answer that question, Mr Maass has written Writing 21st Century Fiction. High Impact Fiction is the term he applies to these super novels, and his book shows how their authors create rich characters and compelling plots whilst harnessing emotional appeal and tension.


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