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The Technique of Fiction Writing

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Many books have been written on fiction technique, and the chief excuse for the present addition to the number is the complexity of the subject. Its range is so wide, it calls for so many and so different capacities in one attempting to discuss it, that a new work has more than a chance to meet at least two or three deficiencies in all other treatments.I believe that the c Many books have been written on fiction technique, and the chief excuse for the present addition to the number is the complexity of the subject. Its range is so wide, it calls for so many and so different capacities in one attempting to discuss it, that a new work has more than a chance to meet at least two or three deficiencies in all other treatments.I believe that the chief deficiency in most works on fiction technique is that the author unconsciously has slipped from the viewpoint of a writer of a story to that of a reader. Now a reader without intention to try his own hand at the game is not playing fair in studying technique, and a book on technique has no business to entertain him. Accordingly, I have striven to keep to the viewpoint of one who seeks to learn how to write stories, and have made no attempt to analyze the work of masters of fiction for the sake of the analysis alone. Such analysis is interesting to make, and also interesting to read, but it is not directly profitable to the writer. It is indirectly profitable, of course, but it will give very little direct aid to one who has a definite story idea and wishes to be told the things he must consider in developing it and writing the story, or to one who wishes to be told roughly how he should go about the business of finding real stories. In fact, I believe that discussion and analysis of perfect work has a tendency to chill the enthusiasm of the beginning writer. What he chiefly needs is to be told the considerations he must hold in mind in conceiving, developing, and writing a story. The rest lies with his own abilities and capacities to work intelligently and to take pains.Therefore the first part of this book takes up the problems of technique in the order in which they present themselves to the writer. Beginning with matters of conception, the discussion passes to matters of construction and development, and finally to matters of execution, or rather the writing of a story considered as a bare chain of events. Then the matters of description, dialogue, the portrayal of character, and the precipitation of atmosphere are discussed, and lastly the short story and novel, as distinct forms, are taken up.


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Many books have been written on fiction technique, and the chief excuse for the present addition to the number is the complexity of the subject. Its range is so wide, it calls for so many and so different capacities in one attempting to discuss it, that a new work has more than a chance to meet at least two or three deficiencies in all other treatments.I believe that the c Many books have been written on fiction technique, and the chief excuse for the present addition to the number is the complexity of the subject. Its range is so wide, it calls for so many and so different capacities in one attempting to discuss it, that a new work has more than a chance to meet at least two or three deficiencies in all other treatments.I believe that the chief deficiency in most works on fiction technique is that the author unconsciously has slipped from the viewpoint of a writer of a story to that of a reader. Now a reader without intention to try his own hand at the game is not playing fair in studying technique, and a book on technique has no business to entertain him. Accordingly, I have striven to keep to the viewpoint of one who seeks to learn how to write stories, and have made no attempt to analyze the work of masters of fiction for the sake of the analysis alone. Such analysis is interesting to make, and also interesting to read, but it is not directly profitable to the writer. It is indirectly profitable, of course, but it will give very little direct aid to one who has a definite story idea and wishes to be told the things he must consider in developing it and writing the story, or to one who wishes to be told roughly how he should go about the business of finding real stories. In fact, I believe that discussion and analysis of perfect work has a tendency to chill the enthusiasm of the beginning writer. What he chiefly needs is to be told the considerations he must hold in mind in conceiving, developing, and writing a story. The rest lies with his own abilities and capacities to work intelligently and to take pains.Therefore the first part of this book takes up the problems of technique in the order in which they present themselves to the writer. Beginning with matters of conception, the discussion passes to matters of construction and development, and finally to matters of execution, or rather the writing of a story considered as a bare chain of events. Then the matters of description, dialogue, the portrayal of character, and the precipitation of atmosphere are discussed, and lastly the short story and novel, as distinct forms, are taken up.

30 review for The Technique of Fiction Writing

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tammy

    Interesting book This book was interesting. It tells about what goes into writing fiction whether a short story or a novel. I would recommend this book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Graf

    This is a very dry read and hard to follow. I found a lot more use out of many of the other writing books that I have gotten over the last few months. This one just did nothing for me. It is free (or at least the kindle version was when I got it) so give it a try. You might like it better.

  3. 5 out of 5

    keith minor

    Information A great way to help others with writing. I found it easy to read, and enjoyable. Anyone learning the ropes should give it

  4. 4 out of 5

    Marie Sha

  5. 5 out of 5

    J.S. Menefee

  6. 5 out of 5

    Marie Newbold

  7. 4 out of 5

    will whittom

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ron

  9. 5 out of 5

    Miranda T Woodward

  10. 5 out of 5

    David Lawrence

  11. 5 out of 5

    Laura G.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sheila Good

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jasonc

  14. 5 out of 5

    Evil Secret Ninja

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mark Kamleiter

  16. 4 out of 5

    Gia Lĩnh

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jay

  18. 4 out of 5

    Danny Knestaut

  19. 5 out of 5

    June Stevens

  20. 4 out of 5

    waitjustaminich

  21. 5 out of 5

    William

  22. 5 out of 5

    Hoss

  23. 4 out of 5

    Donna Polk

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ronald Newton

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mark D Swayze

  26. 4 out of 5

    Asa McCoy

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn Pollard

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rob Bignell

  29. 4 out of 5

    Brandi Stout

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Lingley

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