February 20th, 2005
New Find

I know I talk about writing books a lot. If you’ve read my blog, you know I’m a huge fan of the Donald Maass book ‘Writing the Breakout Novel’. Well a year ago Linda Lael Miller spoke at my local RWA meeting. She gave an amazing talk about Scene and Structure breaking down what Jack Bickman wrote into easy to understand examples. At the time, she mentioned a book that she said helped her with her writing more than any of them. The book was called ‘Immediate Fiction’ by Jerry Cleaver.

I wrote the title down, but had enough writing books on my shelf already to keep me busy for a century or two. (Plus, it was a hardback. ChaChing!) Now, I wish I would’ve went out and grabbed that book right away.

I’m only in the beginning chapters, but even the first six pages made the book worth the price. The questions he asked himself while learning how to write are the same ones I’ve had that no one has been able to answer. I feel such a sense of relief just knowing someone else thought the same things. Maybe it’s the stage I’m at in my writing, but this book couldn’t have come at a better time.

If nothing else, check it out the next time you’re in a bookstore. It’s now in paperback, which is why I snatched it up. The book is considered a complete writing course. The author apparently runs an internet course called, “Write Your Novel Now”. He also gives workshops. You can find more information about those at

13 comments to “New Find”

  1. So, Jordan, I’m curious. What questions have you not been able to get answers for. I’m definitely going to check this out.

  2. Cece, I just wrote you a several paragraph message and my site ate it. Grr… I don’t know if it’s because of the delay my dh put on here or if it’s just more of the crap from my server.

    Jerry Cleaver simply defines everything about writing a book. I’m one of those type of people who need things defined in order to understand it. Apparently, he is too.

    There are rules tucked in the first six pages that are probably obvious, but I needed reminded of. Things like, ‘The less you care, the better you write’, ‘Everything that happens is okay’ (No matter what problem you have confusion, worry, self-doubt, panic, paralysis, it’s okay. It’s all a natural part of the process, what every writer must face.), ‘Everything can be fixed’, ‘You must write badly first’, “You will make a mess’, etc.

    I know I’ve personally forgotten several of these ‘rules’ of writing. The review was nice. Obviously, there is a lot more information, but the above is a general idea of what you can expect. He talks about all the writing mistakes he’s made and the horrible classes he’s attended. He hopes the book prevents people from doing what he’s done.

  3. Read the beginning of this online at Amazon and it looks great! Thanks for posting this. I am always looking for helpful books. : )

  4. I told myself that this year I was going to take time to learn more things about the craft of writing. Thanks for listing the books! I’ll check them out.

  5. I was in the bookstore today, on the look out of Loretta Chase’s Mr. Impossible, but I *knew* there was another book I wanted to check into while there, and couldn’t remember what. I’d better write this one down. Thanks for the tip.

  6. This looks like a book to definitely check out–I’ve never heard of it. I think we can always find something that will help us make our writing stronger. You get to a point where it’s hard to find things that aren’t elementary, though, when what you need is at a higher level. I’m a huge fan of Donald Maass and his Writing the Breakout Novel has helped me tremendously. I love Stephen King’s On Writing, and if you haven’t read The Forest for the TRees, it’s a great book where you can sit there and go, that’s me! When she talks about various types of writers.

    Thanks for the suggestions!

  7. Charlene & Jill,

    I hope the book helps you both. I plan to read more of it tonight.

  8. Jaq, We’re going to have to pin a note to your shirt, so you don’t forget. 😉

  9. Chey,

    I do indeed have Betsy Lerner’s ‘Forest for the Trees’ book. I like it and ‘Bird by Bird’. They are a different kinds of books compared to Donald Maass’s ‘Breakout Novel’ and Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’ (which is still my all-time favorite writing book). ‘Immediate Fiction’ is more like Donald Maass’s ‘Breakout Novel Workbook’, in that it gives you little exercises to do. Personally, I’m enjoying the easy to understand explanations of the various parts of writing.

  10. “On Writing” by Stephen King is THE definitive book on writing and creating a life :-0

  11. Jordan….sounds like something I need to check out. I see Steph did LOL.

  12. Queen Bea, I absolutely agree. 😀 He kicks butt.

  13. Did she grab the book, Cece?