Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft: International Edition Paperback – 4 Jan 2010
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About the Author
JANET BURROWAY is the author of plays, poetry, essays, children’s books, and eight novels including The Buzzards, Raw Silk (runner up for the National Book Award), Opening Nights, Cutting Stone, and Bridge of Sand. Her publications include a collection of personal essays, "Embalming Mom," in addition to a volume of poetry, Material Goods, and two children’s books in verse, The Truck on the Track and The Giant Jam Sandwich . Her most recent plays, Medea with Child (The Reva Shiner Award), Sweepstakes, Division of Property (Arts & Letters Award), and Parts of Speech, have received readings and productions in NewYork, London, San Francisco, Hollywood, Chicago, and various regional theatres. Her textbook Writing Fiction, now in its eighth edition, is the most widely used creative writing text in the United States. She is Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor Emerita at the Florida State University in Tallahassee.
Top customer reviews
This is most certainly "a book" on fiction, but a damn good one. It is one of the few I've come across that takes you through the various aspects in the detail it provides. There are writing exercises, thoughts from noted authors, quotes from the "biggies" of writing fiction (John Gardner's famous work The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers springs to mind, which to me says that one can have both Burroway and Gardner on one's shelf), and most importantly, selections from works (three per chapter) to highlight what was covered in the chapter. This mix of resources for you to take on your journey through a formal guide to crafting fiction is as beautiful as it is helpful and engaging.
I gave this review five stars, and I think it deserves it. There isn't "The Book" on writing fiction, and there never will be. In the last analysis, we are dealing with how people think things are done. Authors focus on different things, such as technique and "how to", others focus on cultivating the right mentality and habits of practice so that technique can grow in a more organic, rather than systematic, fashion. It doesn't matter, just discover what works for you. In taking up "a book," you are becoming "a writer," and that is enough.
See where it takes you.
Great book if you are considering starting to write.
However, if you want to learn to write a story, buy a second hand copy of Writing and Selling Your Novel, by Jack M. Bickham. You will learn a great deal from his book.