The Jane Austen Writers' Club: Inspiration and Advice from the World's Best-loved Novelist

The Jane Austen Writers' Club: Inspiration and Advice from the World's Best-loved Novelist

by Rebecca Smith


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The Jane Austen Writers' Club: Inspiration and Advice from the World's Best-loved Novelist by Rebecca Smith

A spirited and useful guide for writers with tips and tricks from Jane Austen, whose novels stand the test of time, by her great great great great grand niece.

Pretty much anything anyone needs to know about writing can be learned from Jane Austen. While creative writing manuals tend to use examples from twentieth- and twenty-first-century writers, The Jane Austen Writers' Club is the first to look at the methods and devices used by the world’s most beloved novelist. Austen was a creator of immortal characters and a pioneer in her use of language and point of view; her advice continues to be relevant two centuries after her death.

Here Rebecca Smith examines the major aspects of writing fiction—plotting, characterization, openings and endings, dialogue, settings, and writing methods—sharing the advice Austen gave in letters to her aspiring novelist nieces and nephew, and providing many and varied exercises for writers to try, using examples from Austen’s work.

Exercises include:

*Show your character doing the thing he or she most loves doing. In the opening scene of Persuasion, Sir Walter Elliot looks himself up in the Baronetage, which is the Regency equivalent of Googling oneself. That single scene gives us a clear understanding of the kind of man he is and sets up the plot.

* Use Jane Austen’s first attempts at stories to get yourself started. Write a very short story inspired by "The Beautifull Cassandra," a work of eighteenth-century flash fiction.

The Jane Austen Writers' Club is a fresh primer on writing that features utterly timeless advice.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781632865885
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 09/20/2016
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 1,208,019
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Rebecca Smith is the author of Jane Austen's Guide to Modern Life's Dilemmas and three novels for adults published in the UK. She teaches creative writing at the University of Southampton. Smith was the Writer in Residence at Jane Austen's House Museum from 2009 to 2010 and still works closely with the Museum, running writing workshops and judging their competition for young writers. She lives in Southampton, England.

Table of Contents

A Note from the Author ix

Plan of a Novel 1

Planning, plotting and getting started

'Intricate Characters are the most Amusing' 47

Creating and developing your characters

Building the Village of Your Story 101

Creating and utilizing your setting

A Fine Pair of Eyes 133

Point of view

Light, Bright and Sparkling 147

Writing dialogue

Secrets and Suspense 183

Jane Austen's recipe and method for a suspenseful novel

In Jane Austen's Pocket 197

Techniques and devices of the great author

'And What is Fifty Miles of Good Road?' 219

Making use of journeys (and staying at home) in your work

'You Know How Interesting the Purchase of a Sponge-Cake Is to Me' 235

Using food and meals in your writing

Joints of Mutton and Doses of Rhubarb 253

About the writing life, not food

Notes 309

Acknowledgements 315

Jane Austen's Life: A Timeline 317

Bibliography and sources 325

Index 329

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