Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft

Front Cover
Little, Brown, 1987 - Creative writing - 396 pages
5 Reviews
The most widely used and respected book on writing fiction, Writing Fiction guides the writer from first inspiration to final revision. Supported by an abundance exercises, this guide/anthology explores and integrates the elements of fiction while offering practical techniques and concrete examples. A focus on the writing process in its entirety provides a comprehensive guide to writing fiction, approaching distinct elements in separate chapters while building on what has been covered earlier. Topics include free-writing to revision, plot, style, characterization, dialogue, atmosphere, imagery, and point of view. An anthology of diverse and contemporary short stories followed by suggestions for discussion and writing exercises, illustrates concepts while offering variety in pacing and exposure to this increasingly popular form. The book also discusses key issues including writing workshops, using autobiography as a basis for fiction, using action in stories, using dialogue, and maintaining point of view. The sixth edition also features more short short stories than any previous edition and includes quotation boxes that offer advice and inspirational words from established writers on a wide range of topics--such as writing from experience, story structure, openings and endings, and revision. For those interested in developing their creative writing skills.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ElizabethAndrew - LibraryThing

Rarely have I encountered a writing text so dense in wisdom, so practical, and so philosophically astute. I love how Burroway segues from specific suggestions to illustrative examples from literature ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - chrisblocker - LibraryThing

Clearly this book is written for the beginning English major in undergrad; the author herself even says so. Anyone outside of this demographic probably won't care or will grown bored. I fell into the ... Read full review


Story Form and Structure
The Writing Process
Showing and Telling

11 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1987)

Janet Burroway is the author of plays, poetry, children's books, and eight novels, including "Raw Silk", "The Buzzards", "Opening Nights", "Cutting Stone", and "Bridge of Sand". Her "Writing Fiction" is the most widely used creative writing text in America. Recent works include the plays "Sweepstakes", "Medea with Child", and "Parts of Speech", which have received readings and productions in New York, London, San Francisco, Hollywood, Chicago, and various regional theatres; a collection of essays, "Embalming Mom"; and her memoir, "Losing Tim". The recipient of the Florida Humanities Council's 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing, she is the Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor Emerita of the Florida State University.

Bibliographic information