Best nonfiction book: “The Fire In Fiction” by Donald Maass

Lately, I’ve been reading a ton of great nonfiction. And now, I’m blogging about it. Here, my latest notes on the best–most insightful, educational, and entertaining–nonfiction I’ve read.

This month’s best nonfiction book: 

Is this really one of the best nonfiction books out there? Why?

What will I get out of this best nonfiction book that will make it worth my time?

Where can I further investigate this best nonfiction book?


You’re not an overeater. You mostly keep it healthy. Maybe it’s time to give dieting a chance.

Get The Emergency Diet: The Somewhat Hard, Very Controversial, Totally Unheard Of and Fastest Possible Way to Lose Weight on Amazon. 


More Reading Choices:

Top 500 Nonfiction Books

Top 35 Books for Mystics

Top 20 Spiritual Memoirs

Best Meditation Books

The Ordinary Mystic Blog Posts

Best Books for Mystics Blog Posts

The Fire In Fiction: Passion, Purpose, and Technique To Make Your Novel Great, by Donald Maass


For those of you who don’t knwo, Donald Maass is practically a legend in the book publishing world. In his mature, wise, yet conversational way, he’s written a slew of books on writing and publishing, including How To Be Your Own Literary Agent. I love this book’s emphasis on making your fiction (and nonfiction) snap, crackle and pop.

Author begins by explaining the difference between the storytellers – people who hone their craft relentlessly – and status seekers, who publish for money and recognition.

Great novels happen because the author is committed to making every scene, every line, not just technically good – but one that’s infused with the author’s own passion.

Protagonists shouldn’t be just Jane and John Does. They should be people we admire, want to spend time with – like the few friends we have that we would cancel plans to spend time with. Eva antiheroes should be admirable in some way.

Similarly, every hero or prot. needs flaws. Balance the bad and good in every character in the book.

Secondary characters are often one – dimensional, cliché. This is a major missed opportunity. Should be 3D and unique, memorable!

When editing scenes, look for their turning points and focus the whole scene around them. This will clarify the purpose of each scene. Something or several somethings should change.

The Tornado Effect: The big event in the book that affects all of the characters. Have one. Show how it affects them; don’t just assume reader gets it already.

Good description attaches emotions to detail. Both together.

Characters should have opinions. Strong guess we want to get to know them!

“The world of story is hyperreality. In a passionately told tale, characters are larger than life, what’s happening matters profoundly, …and even the words on the page have a Day Go fluorescence.

Great books are fast reads because there is TENSION IN EVERY LINE. Characters are always at odds, even if just mildly, as with conflict between friends. *This is the secret page turning fiction.* “Micro-tension is the moment-by-moment tension that keeps the reader in a conslate state of suspense over what will happen, not in the story but in the next few seconds.” Knowing whether or not guy gets girls doesn’t us for 300 pages. Knowing who will win this little battle of minds in this scene keeps us there for that scene.


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