Take your fiction to the next level! Maybe you're a first-time novelist looking for practical guidance. Maybe you've already been published, but your latest effort is stuck in mid-list limbo. Whatever the case may be, author and literary agent Donald Maass can show you how to take your prose to the next level and write a breakout novel - one that rises out of obscurity and hits the best-seller lists. Maass details the elements that all breakout novels share - regardless of genre - then shows you writing techniques that can make your own books stand out and succeed in a crowded marketplace. You'll learn to: establish a powerful and sweeping sense of time and place weave subplots into the main action for a complex, engrossing story create larger-than-life characters that step right off the page explore universal themes that will interest a broad audience of readers sustain a high degree of narrative tension from start to finish develop an inspired premise that sets your novel apart from the competition Then, using examples from the recent works of several best-selling authors - including novelist Anne Perry - Maass illustrates methods for upping the ante in every aspect of your novel writing. You'll capture the eye of an agent, generate publisher interest and lay the foundation for a promising career.