The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers by John Gardner

By John Gardner

This vintage advisor, from the popular novelist and professor, has helped rework generations of aspiring writers into masterful writers—and will proceed to take action for a few years to return.

John Gardner was once virtually as well-known as a instructor of artistic writing as he used to be for his personal works. during this sensible, instructive instruction manual, according to the classes and seminars that he gave, he explains, easily and cogently, the rules and strategies of excellent writing. Gardner’s classes, exemplified with targeted excerpts from vintage works of literature, sweep throughout an entire variety of topics—from the character of aesthetics to the form of a cultured sentence. Written with ardour, precision, and a deep admire for the artwork of writing, Gardner’s publication serves by way of turns as a critic, mentor, and good friend. a person who has ever considered taking the step from reader to author should still start right here.

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By John Gardner

This vintage advisor, from the popular novelist and professor, has helped rework generations of aspiring writers into masterful writers—and will proceed to take action for a few years to return.

John Gardner was once virtually as well-known as a instructor of artistic writing as he used to be for his personal works. during this sensible, instructive instruction manual, according to the classes and seminars that he gave, he explains, easily and cogently, the rules and strategies of excellent writing. Gardner’s classes, exemplified with targeted excerpts from vintage works of literature, sweep throughout an entire variety of topics—from the character of aesthetics to the form of a cultured sentence. Written with ardour, precision, and a deep admire for the artwork of writing, Gardner’s publication serves by way of turns as a critic, mentor, and good friend. a person who has ever considered taking the step from reader to author should still start right here.

Show description

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Additional info for The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers

Sample text

At least Mopey Moe does deserve credit for one thing. Rather than doing nothing, he immediately bounces ideas off Speedy Didi about which elements to include. But, to make sure that Moe doesn’t always have to come to her so that he can be more confident when writing, Didi recommends that he create templates of the most common writing situations that occur on the job. Figure 2-3 gives a list of 16 common documents composed by corporate writers, ranging from the administrative to the technical. We do not always need to include all the elements in our documents, and quite often the listed elements are not enough for our readers.

No matter how well Didi writes, the chances are strong that her manager will make changes (a) to suit his style to the given situation, (b) to add relevant detail that only he knows, (c) to change the structure to either strengthen or soften the forcefulness of the message depending on who’s reading it, or (d) simply to assert his authority as Didi’s boss. Why fret about these issues when writing the first draft? It’ll face revision no matter what. Come to think of it, even if Didi were writing the draft just for herself, she might forget a thought or two and recall them after she’s written the first draft, so she’ll have to insert them later, in the second draft.

By taking what he says literally, Moe can let the sentence guide him through the draft, deciding what content stays and what leaves by checking it against the scoop. One final word of advice: Don’t make the scoop so mechanical to the point of triteness. This sentence is too important to include without writing it with authority and conviction. Idea Generator 5: Chart It—Mapping Your Ideas Moe: Sometimes issues are so complicated that to make them real I see them as pictures, not words. Didi: Then draw your plan!

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