Setting the Bar


A good friend of mine gave me a copy of Donald Maass’s Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook. I’d resisted buying it because I assumed it was much like the book by the same name (minus the word “Workbook”), only with exercises to practice the principles.

I’ve only read the introduction, and already I am convinced otherwise. This paragraph, in particular, caught my eye:

If you are still early in your career, I hope that the principles in Writing a Breakout Novel and in Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook will inspire you to elevate your craft and not be satisfied with merely being good enough to get published. I hope that your measure of success will be not the gratification of getting an agent or seeing your name on a cover, but putting together a novel of real depth—of having something to say and saying it in a story with lasting power.

I have to admit, the thought of going back to book 1 of my trilogy and reworking it yet again is daunting, but maybe that’s exactly why God has granted me the time.

I got yet another rejection yesterday, but I am so confident in the fact that God’s plan for me and for my writing, since He’s called me to it, is perfect, that I am not devastated nor discouraged.

It may seem pretentious, but I do want to write lasting-power literature, and if that means I have more to learn and more work to do, then so be it.

Therein is the trouble with setting the bar high. I’m constantly wondering if I can do it, if there’s more for me to learn, ways for me to improve. I’m constantly having to work. 😀

Setting the bar high keeps me off balance; it keeps me from growing complacent; it keeps me trusting our omniscient, good God.

Published in: on November 3, 2006 at 12:03 pm  Comments (5)  
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