The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers

The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers

by John Gardner

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Overview

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

This classic guide, from the renowned novelist and professor, has helped transform generations of aspiring writers into masterful writers—and will continue to do so for many years to come.  
 
John Gardner was almost as famous as a teacher of creative writing as he was for his own works. In this practical, instructive handbook, based on the courses and seminars that he gave, he explains, simply and cogently, the principles and techniques of good writing. Gardner’s lessons, exemplified with detailed excerpts from classic works of literature, sweep across a complete range of topics—from the nature of aesthetics to the shape of a refined sentence. Written with passion, precision, and a deep respect for the art of writing, Gardner’s book serves by turns as a critic, mentor, and friend. Anyone who has ever thought of taking the step from reader to writer should begin here.  


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307756718
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/18/2010
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 474,725
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

John Gardner was accorded wide praise for his works of imagination, of criticism, and of scholarship.  He was born in 1933 in Batavia, New York.  Among the universities at which he taught are Oberlin, San Francisco State, Northwestern, Southern Illinois, Bennington and SUNY-Binghamton. The Art of Fiction was completed before his death in 1982.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
dubflicker on LibraryThing 6 days ago
I had to buy a second copy; the best stuff is probably the exercises. This has a chapter that\'s uncharacteristically supportive of postmodernism-as long as you\'ve mastered all of your fundamental, \"persistent dream\" skills etc.
RodRaglin More than 1 year ago
Duties, responsibilities and the author's obligation to tell the truth The Art of Fiction - Notes on Craft for Young Writers By John Gardner One of the most interesting things about this book is how attitudes have changed in regards to what it means to be an author. The Art of Fiction - Notes on Craft for Young Writers by John Gardner, was published in 1984, long before the advent of online platforms that make self-publishing free and easy to any and everyone. This is not your "How to Write a Novel for Dummies" and Gardner definitely would not have supported "everyone's right to publish" as proclaimed by many indie authors and the entire self-publishing industry. Gardner felt that aspiring to be an author was almost akin to a "higher calling" and required rigorous study and practice. As well as hard work and sacrifice such a career choice came with duties and responsibilities. The most important of which is telling the truth, and not just getting facts right, but making sure your fiction is believable and not perceived by the reader as a lie. Foremost it must "affirm moral truths about human existence". Good fiction according to Gardner "creates a vivid and continuous dream" for the reader. Though the book contains good suggestions on craft they're not presented point by point but rather embedded within the text. That means enduring a lot of with Gardner's rather academic, elitist attitude. Is it worth it? Definitely - if you're serious about becoming an accomplished author.
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Litgirl More than 1 year ago
I read this for a class in MFA program. I really appreciated Gardner's advice on the craft of writing. He gives good examples of his statements and has the ability to lead you through his tenets with an engaging voice and an interesting style.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't doubt that John Gardner has a lot of useful things to say. However, his approach is more scholarly and snobby than practical and digestible. Sure there are lessons to be learned here, but part of being an effective teacher is to know how to get your point across. My mind drifted as I sifted through his long-winded, sometimes downright boring writing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Art of Fiction is a book for, as John Gardner writes, serious literary artists. Though it is within reach of the casual reader interested in observing a dissection of the art of writing, it spurs the serious writer to explore and learn all aspects of craft, to read again and again so as to not miss a word (my copy is falling apart). The book belongs alongside 'Narrative Discourse' and Tolstoy's 'What is Art?' Like 'Walden,' The Art of Fiction is layered with wisdom.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is dense and meticulous read, but if you're serious about fiction writing, I'd recommend this highly. I keep coming back to this resource again and again
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is not, in my opinion, written that well. It is dense,wordy, sometimes pompous and intimidating,too. At times, it seems to be putting down young writers. I made myself read it since I've been hearing that it's a classic for years and finally got to some good stuff in it--i.e. don't put yourself between the reader and the story or say things like, 'Mary saw...'--just tell us what she saw and make it more direct. But there is far too much to wade through!
Guest More than 1 year ago
john gardner takes his intended audience seriously as writers. this book is not the typical 'where to find story ideas' and 'point-of-view' type of writing manual but rather it digs deep into what it takes to carve out a novel or any piece of fiction. highly intellectual and serious, while maintaining a reverance for the beauty of this art