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Break Into Fiction: 11 Steps to Building a Story That Sells

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Getting a book published is hard enough�getting a novel published is doubly so! But a writer seeing his story on bookshelves everywhere is just a rewrite away with this book! Written by two award-winning novelists, this workshop-in-a-book is all aspiring authors need to master the art of fiction�and see their novel in print. Based on their popular workshops, Mary Buckham an Getting a book published is hard enough�getting a novel published is doubly so! But a writer seeing his story on bookshelves everywhere is just a rewrite away with this book! Written by two award-winning novelists, this workshop-in-a-book is all aspiring authors need to master the art of fiction�and see their novel in print. Based on their popular workshops, Mary Buckham and Dianna Love Snell have created a novel-writing system that anyone can follow. Their innovative method shows writers how to create stories of depth, excitement, and emotion with: Easy-to-understand templates that guide the new writer through building a novel and show more experienced writers how to deepen a plot and take a first draft to the next level Reference examples from a strongly-plotted popular genre films like suspense, classics, children, and romance Simple worksheets to build a strong story one plot point at a time for any genre Troubleshooting tips that reveal how to find and fix holes that weaken the plot Insights from best-selling novelists representing a variety of fiction genres A bonus dialogue guide that reveals how to make a character come alive through conversation. Inspiring authors shall struggle no more with the help of this step-by-step guide!


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Getting a book published is hard enough�getting a novel published is doubly so! But a writer seeing his story on bookshelves everywhere is just a rewrite away with this book! Written by two award-winning novelists, this workshop-in-a-book is all aspiring authors need to master the art of fiction�and see their novel in print. Based on their popular workshops, Mary Buckham an Getting a book published is hard enough�getting a novel published is doubly so! But a writer seeing his story on bookshelves everywhere is just a rewrite away with this book! Written by two award-winning novelists, this workshop-in-a-book is all aspiring authors need to master the art of fiction�and see their novel in print. Based on their popular workshops, Mary Buckham and Dianna Love Snell have created a novel-writing system that anyone can follow. Their innovative method shows writers how to create stories of depth, excitement, and emotion with: Easy-to-understand templates that guide the new writer through building a novel and show more experienced writers how to deepen a plot and take a first draft to the next level Reference examples from a strongly-plotted popular genre films like suspense, classics, children, and romance Simple worksheets to build a strong story one plot point at a time for any genre Troubleshooting tips that reveal how to find and fix holes that weaken the plot Insights from best-selling novelists representing a variety of fiction genres A bonus dialogue guide that reveals how to make a character come alive through conversation. Inspiring authors shall struggle no more with the help of this step-by-step guide!

30 review for Break Into Fiction: 11 Steps to Building a Story That Sells

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rose

    "Break Into Fiction" is one of the few writing books that I find an invaluable read for beginning and veteran writers alike. Delving into the plotting of everything from characterization to plot progression, the work uses relevant examples in four examples of cinematic plotting with the addition of incorporating helpful worksheets for the reader/writer to follow and be able to examine each crucial step in the plotting of their own stories. The explanations of each of the writing terms (there's a "Break Into Fiction" is one of the few writing books that I find an invaluable read for beginning and veteran writers alike. Delving into the plotting of everything from characterization to plot progression, the work uses relevant examples in four examples of cinematic plotting with the addition of incorporating helpful worksheets for the reader/writer to follow and be able to examine each crucial step in the plotting of their own stories. The explanations of each of the writing terms (there's a glossary near the beginning of the work) are thorough while easy to understand. This is a book I'll be coming back to often.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Serena Yates

    Excellent overview of the fiction writing process. Subdivided into clear steps, each of which has instructive examples and helpful exercises/worksheets. The first time working through writing a novel this way was hard, but it was worth it in terms of savings on re-writes later on. This book will make a good companion longer term, just for looking up certain parts that I'm unsure of in any given story. Excellent overview of the fiction writing process. Subdivided into clear steps, each of which has instructive examples and helpful exercises/worksheets. The first time working through writing a novel this way was hard, but it was worth it in terms of savings on re-writes later on. This book will make a good companion longer term, just for looking up certain parts that I'm unsure of in any given story.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    I just recently read through this book, so I'm just starting to apply it to my current work-in-progress, but so far it seems very helpful. Mary Buckham is a wonderful teacher. I attended a workshop of hers and thoroughly enjoyed it. She was also so encouraging that I finally completed my first manuscript within a month of her class. I just recently read through this book, so I'm just starting to apply it to my current work-in-progress, but so far it seems very helpful. Mary Buckham is a wonderful teacher. I attended a workshop of hers and thoroughly enjoyed it. She was also so encouraging that I finally completed my first manuscript within a month of her class.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lee

    One of the best books and most helpful books for writers. A must have for your bookshelf!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Patti

    So, this was a free ebook and for that fact I am thankful. This book didn't teach me anything I didn't already know. The good part I guess to this book is the worksheets they provide for authors to delve into their plot. What I didn't like was that they used movies as their examples. There is a huge difference between writing a book and writing a screenplay. Now, when it come to plotting, perhaps they have a point and one should plot their book like they would a movie. I also understand the seco So, this was a free ebook and for that fact I am thankful. This book didn't teach me anything I didn't already know. The good part I guess to this book is the worksheets they provide for authors to delve into their plot. What I didn't like was that they used movies as their examples. There is a huge difference between writing a book and writing a screenplay. Now, when it come to plotting, perhaps they have a point and one should plot their book like they would a movie. I also understand the second reason they did this, being more people were more likely to have actually seen the four movies they used as examples than to have read the best books in that genre (thriller/romance/mystery/children's). That is a true but sorry fact. I am never going to fill out those worksheets. That would take all the fun out of writing a book for me. I will remember their tips and try to incorporate them into my own writing. Or that's my plan, anyway.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kate Vale

    A book for people who want to learn how, or may already be familiar and comfortable with, plotting a novel for the commercial market. The books is broken down into a step-by-step technique for identifying the key issues that make up a novel, from identifying the characters and what makes them tick at the beginning through to the end, which conflict and change occurring until the creation of a satisfying ending. Workshops on plotting also use the book as a starting point, which I found helpful af A book for people who want to learn how, or may already be familiar and comfortable with, plotting a novel for the commercial market. The books is broken down into a step-by-step technique for identifying the key issues that make up a novel, from identifying the characters and what makes them tick at the beginning through to the end, which conflict and change occurring until the creation of a satisfying ending. Workshops on plotting also use the book as a starting point, which I found helpful after I attended one such workshop. Although I continue to feel more comfortable as a pantser, this book on plotting gave me suggestions I intend to implement in my next effort to get a story onto paper and then out the door to an agent and/or publisher.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tami Cowden

    While I feel comfortable creating characters, plotting is something I struggle with. This book offers a method that helps me put my character in motion!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Torie Lynn

    One of the most helpful books on "building a story that lasts". Includes templates with great reference examples and trouble-shooting tips. One of the most helpful books on "building a story that lasts". Includes templates with great reference examples and trouble-shooting tips.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tami Parrington

    Very in-depth look at plot outlining and character development.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Zara West

    This how-to-plot manual breaks down the structure of well-known movies as to way to learn how to plot your novel. There are a number of books that use this technique. My problem with this approach is that it relies on you having seen the movies which is not always the case and also being able to watch them again as you read the book. The other problem with the method is that a movie is not a novel. The very fact that the plot is simplified ignores many of the nuances that make writing a novel di This how-to-plot manual breaks down the structure of well-known movies as to way to learn how to plot your novel. There are a number of books that use this technique. My problem with this approach is that it relies on you having seen the movies which is not always the case and also being able to watch them again as you read the book. The other problem with the method is that a movie is not a novel. The very fact that the plot is simplified ignores many of the nuances that make writing a novel different from a screen play. That said, this is a helpful book for understanding the elements of story and for those who can access to the particular movies used as examples: Suffering Fools, The Bourne Identity, Pretty Woman, Casablanca, and Finding Nemo.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    I've read countless books on structure, outlining, and plotting, and Break Into Fiction's 11 Steps to Building a Powerful Story is hands down the best. It's so much more than 3 Acts or 7 Points. Each step is explained to the Nth degree with examples based on movies. Blank templates for your own story and permission to copy the templates for your next project is included. I've read countless books on structure, outlining, and plotting, and Break Into Fiction's 11 Steps to Building a Powerful Story is hands down the best. It's so much more than 3 Acts or 7 Points. Each step is explained to the Nth degree with examples based on movies. Blank templates for your own story and permission to copy the templates for your next project is included.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Debra

    I recommend all of Mary and Dianna's writing craft books. As usual this book features clear explanations and excellent examples. Reading it will help all writers analyze and improve their works-in-progress. I recommend all of Mary and Dianna's writing craft books. As usual this book features clear explanations and excellent examples. Reading it will help all writers analyze and improve their works-in-progress.

  13. 4 out of 5

    B.J.

    It was interesting and helpful. Easy to pick out what you think you need to work on. It's well written and organized. I also took one of her web classes, and it was also worth taking. It was interesting and helpful. Easy to pick out what you think you need to work on. It's well written and organized. I also took one of her web classes, and it was also worth taking.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    Break Into Fiction was free for the Nook a few weeks ago, so I picked it up out of curiosity. The book provides a step-by-step process for building narrative fiction, specifically commercial fiction (as opposed to literary fiction, like On the Road or Cannery Row). It breaks down every story into the basic components - there must be three plot twists, your protagonist needs a mentor who will play certain specific roles, etc. If you are building commercial fiction, the book is probably quite usefu Break Into Fiction was free for the Nook a few weeks ago, so I picked it up out of curiosity. The book provides a step-by-step process for building narrative fiction, specifically commercial fiction (as opposed to literary fiction, like On the Road or Cannery Row). It breaks down every story into the basic components - there must be three plot twists, your protagonist needs a mentor who will play certain specific roles, etc. If you are building commercial fiction, the book is probably quite useful. I did find the analysis of successful narrative to be helpful. I wish the authors hadn't focused on movies, though; I understand that it would be difficult to find a similar group of four books that a sufficiently large audience has read*, but movies are very different from books. At least, they should be. Maybe overenthusiastic applications of this sort of paint-by-numbers approach is why many books appear to have been written with the big screen in mind. I'm not sure whether I would recommend this book for writers. It depends on what you are writing for whom, I suppose. (And I should add that there is absolutely nothing wrong with genre fiction in book form, any more than in movie form. Execution is everything. Heyer tells the same story a dozen times, and it's entertaining [almost] every time. Robin McKinley has retold Beauty and the Beast at least three times [Chalice counts], and all three are different, fun reads.) *Harold Bloom makes a point somewhat related to this - that we no longer have "shared texts" as a society and that we are poorer for it. A few generations ago, everyone, and Bloom does mean everyone, knew the KJV Bible, Plutarch's Lives, and Pilgrim's Progress. Now, my generation's shared text is Harry Potter. Not that I don't love Harry Potter, but it's quite the difference.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Gwen Mitchell

    This is one of the best plotting methods I’ve ever used. I was able to plot my book in one day! The authors use movies as examples, which makes them a lot more accessible than many other books I’ve read that reference fiction I’ve never heard of in genres I do not read or write. They ask you all the right questions—everything you need to know to start telling your story. I highly recommend this for beginners, especially those averse to plotting. But even experienced novelists will find this meth This is one of the best plotting methods I’ve ever used. I was able to plot my book in one day! The authors use movies as examples, which makes them a lot more accessible than many other books I’ve read that reference fiction I’ve never heard of in genres I do not read or write. They ask you all the right questions—everything you need to know to start telling your story. I highly recommend this for beginners, especially those averse to plotting. But even experienced novelists will find this method an efficient and powerful tool.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Graham Downs

    This was an interesting read, and there are some good suggestions in it. I still found it quite... clinical at times, and it's also written for an American audience. Not all of us tell stories this way, and I doubt many stories are going to use every single template in this manual. Still, you can't have too much advice as a story teller, and I'll definitely be keeping some of these things in mind when going through my next story or role playing setting! This was an interesting read, and there are some good suggestions in it. I still found it quite... clinical at times, and it's also written for an American audience. Not all of us tell stories this way, and I doubt many stories are going to use every single template in this manual. Still, you can't have too much advice as a story teller, and I'll definitely be keeping some of these things in mind when going through my next story or role playing setting!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Wolter

    Mary Buckham has captured me with her informative writing books. Break into Fiction is an invaluable reference. Mary guides you through plotting, character, and strong story development. I keep Mary's informative guides opened on three tablets and one book which is heavily tabbed and highlighted. I couldn't write without my best guide beside me. Love your dedication to your writing audience, Mary. Mary Buckham has captured me with her informative writing books. Break into Fiction is an invaluable reference. Mary guides you through plotting, character, and strong story development. I keep Mary's informative guides opened on three tablets and one book which is heavily tabbed and highlighted. I couldn't write without my best guide beside me. Love your dedication to your writing audience, Mary.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Anna Serra i Vidal

    Flipped through this book and had a look at the way both Diana and Mary analyze the films they use as examples. I know I will be turning to this templates later, when I have my story developed but for now I need to delve into the story as a whole, not with these questions, yet. Great templates though, and questions to keep the writer thinking and organizing himself or herself.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Peggy McGuire

    This is a great resource for learning how to plot a book without missing any of the major points in the plot arc. Even better than reading the book and filling out the templates is signing up for Mary Buckham's Power Plotting Workshop. If you can't do it in person, my understanding is that it will be offered online sometime soon. This is a great resource for learning how to plot a book without missing any of the major points in the plot arc. Even better than reading the book and filling out the templates is signing up for Mary Buckham's Power Plotting Workshop. If you can't do it in person, my understanding is that it will be offered online sometime soon.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ginger Calem

    Quite simply, I would not write a book without the help of Break Into Fiction. It's an absolute staple in my 'writer's toolkit' and an invaluable one. BIF takes you from having a character with a situation and guides you through the steps, with the use of fantastic templates, so what end up with is a solidly plotted story, with real conflict and motivation. Quite simply, I would not write a book without the help of Break Into Fiction. It's an absolute staple in my 'writer's toolkit' and an invaluable one. BIF takes you from having a character with a situation and guides you through the steps, with the use of fantastic templates, so what end up with is a solidly plotted story, with real conflict and motivation.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Clare

    I can't trust a writing book which is full of glaring grammatical errors. Also, I didn't think it was honest that they used mostly films, not books, as their examples. But the clincher was the poor writing. I can't trust a writing book which is full of glaring grammatical errors. Also, I didn't think it was honest that they used mostly films, not books, as their examples. But the clincher was the poor writing.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Linda Andrews

    A great book for beginning writers and a wonderful refresher for those writers stuck in the middle of the book. The many templates will help overcome those roadblocks that prevent some from finishing the book. The examples from well known movies will help clarify any confusion in your own story.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sally Kilpatrick

    This book--and Dianna and Mary's workshop--helped me writing Golden Heart finalist Beulah Land and the Happy Hour Choir. If you're type A, this book will probably really appeal to you. If you get stifled by too many rules, then you might not like it as well. This book--and Dianna and Mary's workshop--helped me writing Golden Heart finalist Beulah Land and the Happy Hour Choir. If you're type A, this book will probably really appeal to you. If you get stifled by too many rules, then you might not like it as well.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Taryn Bashford

    This is an accessible read which crystalizes the process of building your story by ensuring you spend time concentrating on important aspects of the building blocks of a novel. Worthwhile.

  25. 4 out of 5

    C.E. Hart

    Great advice and templates. Very helpful.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lesa

  28. 5 out of 5

    April Espinosa

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jill Reese

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

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