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Writing Fiction Paperback – 4 Jun 1996


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Product details

  • Paperback: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Longman; 1st edition (4 Jun. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0673523454
  • ISBN-13: 978-0673523457
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 15.9 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 698,362 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Sept. 1998
Format: Paperback
For my money, this is the best book available about creative narrative writing. Burroway's book is used as a text for short story and novel writing. The chapter "Showing and Telling" alone is worth the price of the book.
Other areas covered by chapters in the book are as follows:
Story form and structure
Characterization: Two chapters that cover every thing from dialogue to detailing the five ways to develop a character: authorial interpretation, appearance, action, speech, and thought
Setting and atmosphere
Point of View
Literary devices such as symbol, metaphor, etc.
Theme
Revision: This chapter is the weakest because it discusses revision in general, not giving specific problems that plague manuscripts. The most prevalent flaws are discussed in the book, but I think it would be helpful to list them in this chapter and give page numbers where the technique is discussed.
I have read over twenty books pertaining to creative writing, but this one is better than all the rest. What I like best are the numerous stories that are at the end of each chapter illustrating the points discussed in that section. Each chapter concludes with questions to guide one's study.
In my reading of books about fiction writing, I have found numerous references to this book which indicates to me the quality of this book to other writers.
If you can only afford one book, get this one. I don't think you will be disappointed if you are serious about your fiction.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Mar. 1998
Format: Paperback
Janet Burroway is the ideal writing teacher. She encourages, cajoles, instructs and gives excellent examples from the best writers in contemporary fiction. This book is an indispensible tool for beginning writers as well as old pros. It covers everything from characterization to setting and plot in a logical, step by step fashion. Each chapter devoted to a topic is illustrated not only with Burroway's own writing, but with examples from the works of contemporary writers. It is the type of book one reads, underlines, and returns to again and again. A "must have" for aspiring ficition writers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By kate boston on 30 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback
Janet Burroway discusses intelligently the processes involved in writing fiction. She doesn't skimp on important issues: six pages are devoted to 'significant detail', two chapters each to 'point of view' and 'characterisation'. Also thoroughly examined are form, structure, showing and telling, fictional time and place, comparison, theme and revision.

'Writing Fiction' is a big book and can appear daunting at first depending on where you are with your own writing. But, it has a user-friendly index and chapter headings that are subdivided, so you know exactly where you are. Short stories used to illustrate topics are followed by subjects for discussion and writing assignments.

The book lends itself to being used as a complete course, read in small doses in whatever chapter order you choose or referred to when needed; it's an enlightening and excellent 'writer's best friend'.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 Dec. 1998
Format: Paperback
I teach writing in the UCLA Writer's Program (online) and always recommend this and "What If" by Ann Bernays and Pam Painter. Burroway's book is absolutely the best book on the craft of writing I've ever found. Anybody who aims to write well would do him- or herself a huge favor by buying this book. I've been drawn to it over and over when writing my own books, "The Death of Tarpons" (novel), "Monday's Meal" (Collection of short stories; and my forthcoming "Over Easy" from Random House and Ballantine Books (1999). I'm now involved in writing screenplays and the techniques Ms. Burroway covers in her book cover that form as well. I think giving it 5 stars is not enough and if it were possible to award ten stars, I would, enthusiastically. If you only buy one book on writing in your lifetime, make it this one!
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By Fran on 6 Nov. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am new to creative writing and this has been an inspiration and I have learned so much . The examples from established authors illustrate her points exactly. The book is a course in itself and I have found it so easy to follow.
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