March 16, 2013

Book Review: Writing Fiction

Writing Fiction: a Guide to Narrative Craft is now in its eighth edition.  The book, written by Janet Burroway, Elizabeth Stuckey-French and Ned Stuckey-French and published by Longman (an imprint of Pearson) belongs on every writer's shelf.

From the first inspiration to the final draft, Writing Fiction is a great guide for the novice writer.  Written in a personal tone, the book covers the writing process, place and atmosphere, summary and scene, story structure, point of view, revision, and characterization.  More, each chapter offers writing exercises and presents short stories which serve as examples and stress the importance of reading.

In an review, the book is described by having "excellent criterion, emerging from the author's decades of writing and teaching experience. This edition, like the seventh and sixth, engages and isn't too prescriptive."

Writing Fiction can come in handy when writing MG or YA.  The book will help you in developing character, setting, scene, and theme.  In addition, you will learn about the factors that comprise the crisis moments in a novel.  Specifically, readers want to experience everything in these moments—they want to see it, hear it, and feel it.  The authors of Writing Fiction explain that this difficult to accomplish because it can be exhausting to collect all of that emotion in its full intensity.  Still, writers must fully imagine that scene, place themselves in it, and emotionally experience it.

The book is an expensive purchase.  It usually costs close to ninety dollars.  But shop around and you may find one less expensive.  I bought my copy for under seventy dollars.  While this is probably one of the most expensive books I've ever bought for writing, its lessons are priceless.  My writing has improved; my confidence has grown.  Think of the purchase as an investment toward your writing career.  Writing Fiction will make your writing stronger.

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