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

believemeyou, March 16, 2010

John Gardner is a feisty provocateur in "The Art of Fiction." The book is full of insights that can and do guide the young writer. Who am i kidding? It still helps me and I am not young. I especially like the section that chastises the writer for the use of Latinate phrases. This book is a rare treasure and the voice--OK the voice--yes it is dated--but wise and Gardner's craft talk resists the forces of time. Who cares if he is out of contemporary step--his methods may be old but his lessons are classic. And every time I read this book, every time i come across that niggling voice--he is alive again. He is slamming my over-wrought syntax--he withering my diction. Gardner's teaching has become legendary and though i never had the chance to hear his voice--I still do. If you read this book and allow that voice to speak to you--you will become a better writer. The craft book has the power to transform your work if you let him scold you and deride you and sneer at your fancy prose. In "The Art of Fiction" John Gardner does not mask his voice. He'll spank your prose and lead you into your own dream of fiction. It's not a difficult read unless you're "sensitive." Sink into this book--if it doesn't make you a better writer it might just spook you a bit.
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