Fiction Writer's Workshop

The key elements of a writing workshop: clear instruction, illustrated by contemporary and classic works, innovative exercises and methods to gauge your progress
Author:
Publish date:


Buy Book | Amazon | BN.com

Fiction Writer
s Workshop, Second Edition
The Key Elements of a Writing Workshop: Clear instruction, illustrated by contemporary and classic works, innovative exercises and methods to gauge your progress
By Josip Novakovich
Writer’s Digest Books, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-58297-536-8
$16.99 paperback, 336 pages

Image placeholder title

Read an excerpt from chapter six: "Dialogue As Conversation."

The great paradox of the writing life is that to be a good writer, you must be both interested in the world around you and comfortable working in solitude for hours on end. Fiction Writer’s Workshop, Second Edition, is designed to help you foster a strong sense of independence—of being and thinking on your own, of becoming self-evaluative without being self-critical—in order to accomplish what others seek in classroom groups.

In this comprehensive guide, award-winning writer and teacher Josip Novakovich explores every aspect of the art of fiction and provides all the tools and techniques you’ll need to develop day-to-day discipline as well as a personal writing style, such as:

  • More than 100 writing exercises, including dozens that are new to this edition, that challenge you to experiment with diverse writing styles
  • Specific statements of purpose for each exercise, to help guide you and instruct you at every step of the creative process
  • Self-critique questions to help you assess your work and identify strengths and weaknesses before moving on to the next lesson
  • The full text of eight acclaimed short stories, with analysis and exercises, to provide models for your own writing and help reinforce the lessons you’ve learned

The practical, insightful methods offered in this workshop will clarify your voice, broaden your perspective, and strengthen your fiction.

Praise for Fiction Writer’s Workshop

“Thoughtful, articulate, and eloquent, Fiction Writer’s Workshop is one of the best books I’ve seen on the teaching and learning of writing. Students say this book makes the whole process much more accessible and inspiring.” —Diana Abu-Jaber, Portland State University

Fiction Writer’s Workshop is written in a lively and engaging style. Josip Novakovich is not offering the reader pronouncements from on high—unbreakable story rules—but friendly and useful advice from one writer to another.” —Mary Grimm, Case Western Reserve University

Fiction Writer’s Workshop offers a wealth of sensible and relevant practice exercises. Any creative writing instructor could profit from this book.” —Peter Schmitt, University of Miami

About the Author

Josip Novakovich is a Croatian-American writer. At the age of 20, he left Yugoslavia, continuing his education at Vassar College, Yale University, and the University of Texas, Austin. He has published a novel (April Fool's Day), three short story collections (Yolk, Salvation and Other Disasters, Infidelities: Stories of War and Lust), and two collections of narrative essays (Apricots from Chernobyl, Plum Brandy: Croatian Journeys). Novakovich has taught at Nebraska Indian Community College, Bard College, Moorhead State University, Antioch University in Los Angeles, the University of Cincinnati, and is now a professor in the Master's of Fine Arts program at Pennsylvania State University.

Mr. Novakovich is the recipient of the Whiting Writer's Award, a Guggenheim fellowship, two fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts, the Ingram Merrill Award, and an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. He has been anthologized in Best American Poetry, Pushcart Prize, and O.Henry Prize Stories.

Rajani LaRocca: On Letting Your Synopsis Guide Your Writing

Rajani LaRocca: On Letting Your Synopsis Guide Your Writing

In this article, middle-grade author Rajani LaRocca discusses how the synopsis for her newest release, Much Ado About Baseball, guided her writing process.

From Script

Adding Your Personal Connection to Your Stories and Building Your Brand As a Writer (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by ScriptMag.com, Script’s Editor Sadie Dean interviews Dickinson creator/showrunner/EP Alena Smith, learn how to divide and conquer as screenwriter in the business and creating fruitful relationships. Plus, a brand new Script Talk video interview with writer/director/actress Djaka Souaré about her journey as a mentor and mentee in the WOCUnite and #StartWith8Hollywood mentorship programs.

Poetic Forms

Englyn Penfyr: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the englyn penfyr, a Welsh tercet form.

Editorial Road-Mapping: Start Your Self-Editing Process Here

Editorial Road-Mapping: Start Your Self-Editing Process Here

Editorial road-mapping begins with a challenge of willpower and ends with a battle-plan for transforming your manuscript into the book you dreamed it could be. Let editor Kris Spisak give you that map!

6 Tips for Writing a Summer Romance Novel

6 Tips for Writing a Summer Romance Novel

Summer. Three whole months of bright sunsets and glittering water and endless possibility. Here are 6 tips from romance writer Rachael Lippincott for capturing a tiny bit of that magic in the pages of your next summer romance novel.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Running Empty

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Running Empty

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, consider what happens when resources begin to run low or out.

5 Tips for Creating a Fully Realized Historical Setting

5 Tips for Creating a Fully Realized Historical Setting

Research is more than just reading books and articles. Here, author Nekesa Afia gives her top 5 tips for writing a historical setting that will engage and wow your readers.

Don Bentley: On Being Picked to Write a Book in a Famous Series

Don Bentley: On Being Picked to Write a Book in a Famous Series

Thriller author Don Bentley discusses how he was selected to write Target Acquired, the latest Tom Clancy novel.

How to Write a Biography of a World Leader

How to Write a Biography of a World Leader

When writing a biography, you want to make sure that the story you tell is more than just a list of facts about the person's life. Biographer Supriya Vani shares her top tips for writing a successful biography.