This classic guide, from the renowned novelist and professor, has helped transform generations of aspiring writers into masterful writers—and will continue to do so for many years to come. John Gardner was almost as famous as a teacher of creative writing as he was for his own works. In this practical, instructive handbook, based on the courses and seminars that he gave, he explains, simply and cogently, the principles and techniques of good writing. Gardner’s lessons, exemplified with detailed excerpts from classic works of literature, sweep across a complete range of topics—from the nature of aesthetics to the shape of a refined sentence. Written with passion, precision, and a deep respect for the art of writing, Gardner’s book serves by turns as a critic, mentor, and friend. Anyone who has ever thought of taking the step from reader to writer should begin here. From the Trade Paperback edition.
"John Gardner was famous for his generosity to young writers, and (this book) is his . . . gift to them. The Art of Fiction will fascinate anyone interested in how fiction gets put together. For the young writer, it will become a necessary handbook, a stern judge, an encouraging friend".--The New York Times Book Review.
John Gardner’s classic exploration of the creative processes and career paths of modern fiction writers In this essential guide, John Gardner advises the aspiring fiction author on such topics as the value of creative writing workshops, the developmental stages of literary growth, and the inevitable experience of writer’s block. Drawn from his two decades of experience in creative writing, Gardner balances his compassion for his students with his knowledge of the publishing industry, and truthfully relates his experiences of the hardships that lie ahead for aspiring authors. On Becoming a Novelist is a must-read for those dedicated to the craft and profession of fiction writing. This ebook features a new illustrated biography of John Gardner, including original letters, rare photos, and never-before-seen documents from the Gardner family and the University of Rochester Archives.
The Art of Writing Fiction guides the reader through the processes of creative writing from journal-keeping to editing, offering techniques for stimulating creativity and making language vivid. Readers will master key aspects of fiction such as structure, character, voice and setting. Andrew Cowan provides an insightful introduction that brings his own well-crafted prose style to bear on the processes and pleasures of writing fiction, offering practical and personal advice culled from his own experience and that of other published writers. He lays open to the reader his own notes, his writing, and the experiences from his own life that he has drawn on in his fiction allowing the reader to develop their own writing project alongside the author as they go through the book.
John Gardner’s acclaimed search for the lost morality in art and literature Novelist John Gardner’s thesis in On Moral Fiction is simple: “True art is by its nature moral.” It is also an audacious statement, as Gardner asserts an inherent value in life and in art. Since the book’s first publication, the passion behind Gardner’s assertion has both provoked and inspired readers. In examining the work of his peers, Gardner analyzes what has gone wrong, in his view, in modern art and literature, and how shortcomings in artistic criticism have contributed to the problem. He develops his argument by showing how artists and critics can reintroduce morality and substance to their work to improve society and cultivate our morality. On Moral Fiction is an essential read in which Gardner presents his thoughtfully developed criteria for the elements he believes are essential to art and its creation. This ebook features an illustrated biography of John Gardner, including original letters, rare photos, and never-before-seen documents from the Gardner family and the University of Rochester Archives.
In 1958, Ayn Rand, already the world-famous author of such bestselling books as Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, gave a private series of extemporaneous lectures in her own living room on the art of fiction. Tore Boeckmann and Leonard Peikoff for the first time now bring readers the edited transcript of these exciting personal statements. The Art of Fiction offers invaluable lessons, in which Rand analyzes the four essential elements of fiction: theme, plot, characterization, and style. She demonstrates her ideas by dissecting her best-known works, as well as those of other famous authors, such as Thomas Wolfe, Sinclair Lewis, and Victor Hugo. An historic accomplishment, this compendium will be a unique and fascinating resource for both writers and readers of fiction.
John Gardner’s essential collection encompassing the fundamentals of fiction writing In this posthumously published collection of his essays and reviews, acclaimed novelist John Gardner discusses the craft of fiction writing, taking to task some of his best-known contemporaries in the process. Gardner criticizes some for writing disingenuous fiction, and commends others who produce literature that acts as a life-affirming force. He offers insights into and exacting critiques on such writers as Vladimir Nabokov, John Updike, Saul Bellow, and John Cheever, while addressing his personal influences and delivering broad-ranging observations on literary culture. Provocative and poignant, On Writers & Writing is a must-read for both aspiring writers and careful readers of American literature. This ebook features a new illustrated biography of John Gardner, including original letters, rare photos, and never-before-seen documents from the Gardner family and the University of Rochester Archives.
The renowned British novelist’s “casual and wittily acute guidance” on reading—and writing—great fiction (Harper’s). Renowned for such classics as A Room with a View, Howards End, and A Passage to India, E. M. Forster was one of Britain’s—and the world’s—most distinguished fiction writers, a frequent nominee for the Nobel Prize in Literature. In this collection of lectures delivered at Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1927, he takes a wide-ranging look at English-language novels—with specific examples from such masters as Dickens and Austen—discussing the elements they all have in common. Using a witty, informal tone and drawing as well on his extensive readings in French and Russian literature, Forster discusses his ideas in reference to such figures as Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Proust; explains the difference between “flat” and “round” characters and between plot and story; and ultimately provides an “admirable and delightful” education for anyone who appreciates the art of a good book (The New York Times).
In the tradition of E. M. Forster's Aspects of the Novel and Milan Kundera's The Art of the Novel, How Fiction Works is a scintillating and searching study of the main elements of fiction, such as narrative, detail, characterization, dialogue, realism, and style. In his first full-length book of criticism, one of the most prominent critics of our time takes the machinery of story-telling apart to ask a series of fundamental questions: What do we mean when we say we 'know' a fictional character? What constitutes a 'telling' detail? When is a metaphor successful? Is realism realistic? Why do most endings of novels disappoint? Wood ranges widely, from Homer to Beatrix Potter, from the Bible to John Le Carré, and his book is both a study of the techniques of fiction-making and an alternative history of the novel. Playful and profound, it incisively sums up two decades of bold, often controversial, and now classic critical work, and will be enlightening to writers, readers, and anyone interested in what happens on the page.
Firefighter Bruce Cobretti has never gotten over Megan Woodward, the woman he loved and lost. Now seven years later, a not-so-routine house fire brings them together and reignites their passion. Can he convince her that they’re meant to be together, or will his plans go up in flames? ***This short story was originally published in the Real Men Do It Better box set.***
New York Times Bestseller and National Book Critics Circle Award Winner: A “dazzling” novel about the tumultuous relationship of two elderly siblings (Los Angeles Times). James is a cantankerous and conservative seventy-two-year-old who has spent his life caring for the animals on his farm. His widowed older sister, Sally, has strong liberal ideals and a propensity for debate. When Sally’s bankruptcy forces her to move in with her brother, their lifelong feud quickly escalates—and Sally becomes a prisoner in her own room with nothing to survive on but apples and a trashy novel about marijuana smugglers. As Sally becomes immersed in the book, the story envelops the narrative of the siblings’ dysfunctional relationship, and Gardner explores a wide array of themes from human autonomy to self-definition to political extremism. The result is a tour de force of Gardner’s unique literary style at the height of his protean creative powers. This ebook features a new illustrated biography of John Gardner, including original letters, rare photos, and never-before-seen documents from the Gardner family and the University of Rochester Archives.
In this book, prizewinning novelist and popular creative writing instructor Douglas Bauer (The Book of Famous Iowans) shares the secrets of his trade. Talent, as Bauer acknowledges, is the most crucial element for a writer and cannot be taught. But without a regular habit of work, and a perseverance of effort, no amount of talent can come forward and be recognized. His lively and candid essays on subjects critical to the fiction writer’s success demystify the essential elements of fiction writing, how they work, and work together. Bauer’s focus is on the building blocks of successful fiction: dialogue (the intimate relationship between characters talking and the eavesdropping reader), characters (the virtues of creating fictional characters that are both splendidly flawed and sympathetic), and dramatic events (ways to create moments that produce an emotional and psychological impact). There are also chapters on crafting effective openings and memorable closings of stories and on the vital presence of sentiment in fiction versus the ruinous effect of sentimentality. By assuming the point of view of someone at the task, engaged with the work, inside the effort to bring an invented world to life, The Stuff of Fiction speaks to writers of all ages in a pleasurable yet practical voice. Douglas Bauer is the author of three novels, Dexterity, The Very Air, and The Book of Famous Iowans, and one book of nonfiction, Prairie City, Iowa. He is also a core faculty member with the MFA Program at Bennington College and has received a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a Massachusetts Artists Foundation grant, and two Harvard Danforth Excellence in Teaching Citations.
Like a muse for the writer, Oakley Hall thoughtfully leads us past the sinkholes of cliches, flat prose, and self-conscious writing and guides us toward the magic of vivid and original storytelling. ...An essential resource for any writer -- beginning, published, or just plain stuck. -- Amy TanOakley Hall cites the works and methods of such great novelists as John Steinbeck, Joyce Carol Oates, Leo Tolstoy, Agatha Christie and Milan Kundera to show readers what works in the novel, and why. This book features advice on taking a novel through each of its stages, from the beginning of an idea to The End, and guides writers through the process of writing a novel.
A Twenty-First-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story
Author: Ursula K. Le Guin
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
A revised and updated guide to the essentials of a writer's craft, presented by a brilliant practitioner of the art Completely revised and rewritten to address the challenges and opportunities of the modern era, this handbook is a short, deceptively simple guide to the craft of writing. Le Guin lays out ten chapters that address the most fundamental components of narrative, from the sound of language to sentence construction to point of view. Each chapter combines illustrative examples from the global canon with Le Guin's own witty commentary and an exercise that the writer can do solo or in a group. She also offers a comprehensive guide to working in writing groups, both actual and online. Masterly and concise, Steering the Craft deserves a place on every writer's shelf.
In this entertaining and enlightening collection David Lodge considers the art of fiction under a wide range of headings, drawing on writers as diverse as Henry James, Martin Amis, Jane Austen and James Joyce. Looking at ideas such as the Intrusive Author, Suspense, the Epistolary Novel, Magic Realism and Symbolism, and illustrating each topic with a passage taken from a classic or modern novel, David Lodge makes the richness and variety of British and American fiction accessible to the general reader. He provides essential reading for students, aspiring writers and anyone who wants to understand how fiction works.
For a decade--from 1973 to 1982--John Gardner was one of America's most famous writers and certainly its most flamboyantly opinionated. His 1973 novel, The Sunlight Dialogues, was on the New York Times bestseller list for fourteen weeks. Once in the limelight, he picked public fights with his peers, John Barth, Joseph Heller, and Norman Mailer among them, and wrote five more bestsellers. Gardner's personal life was as chaotic as his writing life was prolific. At twenty, he married his cousin Joan, and after a long marriage that was both passionate and violent, left her for Liz Rosenberg, a student. Only a few years later, he left Rosenberg for another student, Susan Thornton. Famous for disregarding his own safety, he rode his motorcycle at crazy speeds, incurred countless concussions, and once broke both of his arms. He survived what was diagnosed as terminal colon cancer only to resume his prodigious drinking and to die in a motorcycle accident at age forty-nine, a week before his third wedding. Biographer Barry Silesky captures John Gardner's fabulously contradictory genius and his capacity to both dazzle and infuriate. He portrays Gardner as a man of unrestrained energy and blatant contempt for convention and also as a man whose charisma drew students and devoted followers wherever he went. Amazingly, Gardner published twenty-nine books in all, including eleven fiction titles, a book-length epic poem, six books of medieval criticism, and a major biography. Twenty-one years after his death, his On Moral Fiction and The Art Of Fiction are still read and debated in MFA programs across the country. This is a full-scale biography of a writer who was, for ten years, almost bigger than life. It lives up to its subject magnificently.
How to Quickly Learn the Magic of Writing Success For most of my adult life I have been engaged in the writing, the editing, or the criticizing of fiction. I took, and I still take, the writing of fiction seriously. So I make no apology for writing seriously about the problems of fiction writers. I have had firsthand experience with almost every current ""approach"" to the problems of writing. The difficulties of the average student or amateur writer begin long before he has come to the place where he can benefit by technical instruction in story writing. He had longed to hear that there was some magic about writing, and to be initiated into the brotherhood of authors. This book, I believe, will be unique; for I think he is right. I think there is such a magic, and that it is teachable. This book is all about the writer's magic. (From the Introduction.) Scroll Up and Get Your Copy Now.