Master Class In Fiction Writing

( 2 )


Do you want to take your fiction writing to the next level?


...Jane Austen, Ernest Hemingway, John Updike, Toni Morrison, William Faulkner, Joseph Conrad, Vladimir Nabokov, James Joyce, and Iris Murdoch.

"Adam Sexton taught me how to read like a writer—and, in a way, how to write like a reader. For without first considering the experience of reading stories—seriously, thoroughly, the way...

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Master Class in Fiction Writing: Techniques from Austen, Hemingway, and Other Greats: Lessons from the All-Star Writer's Workshop

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Do you want to take your fiction writing to the next level?


...Jane Austen, Ernest Hemingway, John Updike, Toni Morrison, William Faulkner, Joseph Conrad, Vladimir Nabokov, James Joyce, and Iris Murdoch.

"Adam Sexton taught me how to read like a writer—and, in a way, how to write like a reader. For without first considering the experience of reading stories—seriously, thoroughly, the way Sexton does—you can't possibly write one worth reading."—Tara McCarthy, author, Love Will Tear Us Apart

Many writers believe that if they just find the right teacher or workshop, their writing will reach new heights of skill. But why not learn from the best? In his popular workshops in New York City, creative writing instructor Adam Sexton has found that the most effective way for any writer to grasp on the elements of fiction is to study the great masters. Master Class in Fiction Writing is your personal crash course in creative writing, with the world's most accomplished fiction writers as your guides.

You'll learn the art of characterization from Austen, style and voice from Hemingway, and dialogue from Murdoch. You'll discover the timeless techniques of plotting in the work of Conrad and the ingenious structure of Joyce. These are the most important lessons any writer can learn—a truly "novel" approach to writing that will enrich, inform, and inspire.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780071448772
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/17/2005
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 776,471
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Adam Sexton teaches writing at the New School and New York University. He has also written on arts and entertainment for the New York Times, the Village Voice, and the Boston Phoenix.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Story structure : "Araby" 1
Ch. 2 Characterization : Sense and sensibility 37
Ch. 3 Plot : The secret sharer 61
Ch. 4 Description : Rabbit, run 79
Ch. 5 Dialogue : A severed head 101
Ch. 6 Point of view I - participant narrators : As I lay dying 127
Ch. 7 Point of view II - exclusively-observant narrators : Beloved 153
Ch. 8 Style, voice : A farewell to arms 181
Ch. 9 The world of story : Lolita 199
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2007

    Amazing book for fiction writers

    My education in writing consists of the following: 1. Thirty-four years of reading literature. 2. Thirty-four years of putting my writing in front of audiences and paying attention to their reactions. 3. An undergraduate degree in English Literature. (I didn't pay as much attention to that as I should have. I didn't demand as much as I might have.) 4. Ten years of writing technical material -- a demanding craft, as people depend on what I write to help them do their own jobs well. So when I read a book like Master Class in Fiction Writing by Adam Sexton, I feel like I'm getting a second chance at point #3. I'm ready to pay attention, and this book turned out to be a sure thing. (Tuition never is.) I finally understand how to approach story. I've understood how I wanted to put the pieces together, sure -- you learn that by watching it done and seeing what moves you. But it's wonderful to begin to really understand the anatomy of stories. (I have a friend who's studying to become a nurse. There's a difference in capacity between someone who knows first aid and someone who knows by name and shape every muscle and bone and how they fit together.) Thank you, Adam Sexton! The discussion of point of view is -- finally, after all the books I've read in 34 years that tried to explain it -- clarifying. I confess I didn't stop to read Sense and Sensibility or As I Lay Dying again. I'm hunting down all the short stories mentioned in the book, though. Thank you, Adam Sexton, for not killing the stories you describe! So many books like this sound superior, almost pitying, as if the ability to pick a story apart made a person superior to the story. Baloney. If you write fiction and are not in academia, get this book. It will save you doubt and heartache. If you are in academia -- well, I'm not sure about your doubt and heartache. But read the book and be glad for Mr. Sexton's achievement.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2005

    Of course writing can be taught!

    Wow - I love this book. For those of us who have spent more time than we'd care to admit scowling in frustration at a blinking cursor, MASTER CLASS IN FICTION WRITING by Adam Sexton is a life raft. The key is accessibility. Mr. Sexton takes the many aspects of fiction-writing - structure, plot, point of view, dialogue and more - and breaks each one down into a conquerable unit. He reminds us that there are no magic beans needed in fiction writing the literary tools and devices used by the masters are the same ones available to every writer at every skill level. He then uses specific examples from classic literature to illuminate his points, effectively bridging the gap between the greats and those who aspire to join their ranks. Mr. Sexton's crisp explanations and authoritative yet amiable style give students of all skillsets a real toehold on the craft - and art - of fiction-writing. For those who strive to write fiction, and write it well, this soon-to-be-dogeared book is indispensable.

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