The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers

Front Cover
Vintage Books, 1991 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 224 pages
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 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  - RodRaglin - LibraryThing

Duties, responsibilities and the author's obligation to tell the truth The Art of Fiction - Notes on Craft for Young Writers By John Gardner One of the most interesting things about this book is how ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DellaWanna - LibraryThing

Subtitled 'Notes on Craft for Young Writers,' this excellent resource will resonate with writers of any age. Gardner's passion for his topic is palpable; he draws from his own works as well as contemporary and classic novels to show the artifice behind "profluent" fiction. Read full review


Aesthetic Law and Artistic Mystery
Basic Skills Genre and Fiction as Dream
Interest and Truth

7 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1991)

John Gardner was accorded wide praise for his works of imagination, of criticism, and of scholarship.  He was born in 1933 in Batavia, New York.  Among the universities at which he taught are Oberlin, San Francisco State, Northwestern, Southern Illinois, Bennington and SUNY-Binghamton. The Art of Fiction was completed before his death in 1982.

Bibliographic information