Book Review: Break Into Fiction

Two years ago, at the WRW Annual Retreat which was held in Leesburg, VA, I had the great fortune to win a raffle basket donated by Dianna Love.  Inside were all sorts of cool treasures but the greatest of all, as I discovered last month, was a copy of her book with Mary Buckham, “Break Into Fiction”. 


I highly recommend this book if:

You are a beginning writer.

You are an experienced writer.

You are beginning a new story.

You are like me and editing/revising a completed draft.


The book is so very friendly.  It shows you how to easily recognize the key elements of successful commercial fiction in several popular movies (by walking you through templates for each of the movies) so that you can then use those same templates to develop your own story idea.

There are two aspects I like best about Break Into Fiction.  The first is that this book is multi-genre.  The movies associated with the templates range from Suspense to Romantic Comedy and from Classic Romance to a modern Disney favorite.  I appreciated this because I write out of the box and I appreciate an approach that is about successful commercial fiction.  Period.

The other thing I loved about Dianna and Mary’s approach is that its focus is on your characters.  Don’t get me wrong, right smack dab on the cover of Break Into Fiction, it says “Power Plot Your Book”.  I won’t lie, when I saw that, my doubts crept in as to whether this was the book for me.  My strength is the internal emotional journey of the character, and so naturally, plotting books generally intimidate me.  However, that’s where Break Into Fiction is truly a blessing.  What you will learn as you go through the power plotting templates, is that everything blossoms from your characters.  There is no separation between your protagonists and the elements that will drive your plot.  Until I read and used Break Into Fiction, I always saw those as separate entities and therefore my stories felt disjointed between my strong characters and not so hot plot.  This book has helped me fix that!

And, Break Into Fiction isn’t just a book.  It’s an interactive system that includes a wonderful website with information on the authors, seminars, plotting retreats and professional editing services, among other things.

Did I mention that #1 New York Times best-selling author Sherrilyn Kenyon put her stamp of approval on Break Into Fiction by contributing the foreword?  Seriously, this is a book all writers need.  For more information, check out

13 thoughts on “Book Review: Break Into Fiction

  1. Carlene, I took an online class from Mary Buckham a few months ago on pacing, which I really enjoyed. She taught me a lot about that pesky sagging middle. I liked the class so much, in fact, that I bought her book, Break Into Fiction! Now it’s just waiting on my shelf waiting for me to read. Thanks for the endorsement, Carlene! I’ll be sure to get to it asap!

    1. Good morning, Pintip. That is wonderful. Sometime in the near future I am going to try and attend one of the Break Into Fiction workshops. You know I had the book for almost two years because I was saving it for when I was ready to start a new story. For some reason I picked it up to skim through it last month and I realized I could also use it to help me through revisions! Definitely crack it open!

  2. Great review, Carlene-Mermaid! I usually stay away from writing books but I think I might actually pick this one up. Awesomesauce! 😉

    1. Thank you, Kerri-Mermaid! I’m right there with you so maybe give this one a chance like I did. I think sometimes craft books use terms that I don’t get. But for example, in this one, Chapter 10 is all about the “Things are about to get far worse” point in your story. I can totally get into that. It’s a fun book.

  3. So glad you’ve found additional helpful ideas for your limitless writing potential. You are a wonderful story teller and I am eager to read anything you weave into any genre!

    1. Thank you, Mom. 😉 Thanks to this book, the story I will bring home when I see you should be a pretty good read. Love you and thank you for stopping by and commenting. xoxo

  4. I’m with Kerri. I don’t like to read too many craft books. Partly because I feel like I’m treating my story more like a business and with less heart. But, then again, maybe I should start doing that. Clearly it may be a better choice for me. LOL.
    I will definitely pick this one up though. Thanks for the recommendation, Carlene-Mermaid! It sounds great. And what a great job you did explaining it!

    1. I’m right there with you, Kim. This is in fact the only craft book I own. I forgot to mention the first thing they have you do is watch one of their chosen movies. I went with Pretty Woman. All around great approach to a subject that can seem daunting to many writers like us!

  5. Hi Carlene, just letting you know I stopped by to read your review. Good luck with your power plotting.

    1. Hi Aunt Terry! Thank you very much for reading it and saying hello. Love seeing you here at the pond.

  6. Thank you so much, Diana! I’m still new at book-reviewing so your comment means a lot. 🙂

Comments are closed.