The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers
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.
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Aesthetic Law and Artistic Mystery
Basic Skills Genre and Fiction as Dream 17
Interest and Truth 39
Metafiction Deconstruction and Jazzing Around 82
Common Errors 97
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abstract Achaians achieve action aesthetic Anna Karenina Argonautica artist basic beginning writer Beowulf Cask of Amontillado central character character's choose climax comic conventional fiction course deconstructive detail distract Donald Barthelme effect elements emotion example exercise experience fact feel fictional dream fictional process frigidity genre Grendel happens Helen Henry James Homer Howard the Duck human idea imitation instance interest intuition James Joyce kind least literary look means Menelaos metafiction narrative narrator never novel novella perhaps phrase piece of fiction Pigtoe plot poetic point of view possible profluence prose psychic distance reader realistic reality rhyme rhythm Samuel Beckett scene sense sentence serious short story simply sometimes story's style subtle syllables symbolic tale teacher technique tell theme things thought tion traditional Trojans true truth unreliable narrator values vivid voice William Faulkner William Gass words writer yarn