The Glimmer Train Guide to Writing Fiction, Volume 1: Building Blocks

Building Blocks: the joys, frustrations, struggles, and achievements of the literary life.
Author:
Publish date:


Buy book | Amazon  | BN.com

Image placeholder title

The Glimmer Train Guide to Writing Fiction
Volume1: Building Blocks
Edited by Susan Burmeister-Brown and Linda B. Swanson-Davies
Writer's Digest Books, 2006
ISBN 978-1-58297-446-0
$19.99 hardcover, 448 pages

Read an Excerpt
Get expert insight in "Beginnings," chapter 9 of The Glimmer Train Guide to Writing Fiction, Volume 1: Building Blocks featuring Ron Carlson, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Siri Hustvedt, Andrea Barrett, Doris Lessing, and Pam Durban.

Or, download all of chapter 9as a PDF.


About the Book
Many writing books offer instruction and inspiration, but never before has one pulled back the curtains and laid bare before you the joys, frustrations, struggles, and achievements of the literary life—as experienced by more than one hundred accomplished writers. In excerpts from interviews conducted over a sixteen-year period, and preserved by the ediotrs of the highly respected literary quarterly Glimmer Train Stories and its newsletter Writers Ask, contemporary writers who rarely discuss their craft present you with eye-opening techniques, diverse perspectives, and genuine encouragement—the kind of wisdom earned only from years at the writing desk.

  • Julia Alvarez
  • Edwidge Danicat
  • Robert Olen Butler
  • Sandra Cisneros
  • Andre Dubus
  • Ernest Gaines
  • Jamaica Kincaid
  • Antonya Nelson
  • Tim O'Brien
  • Ann Patchett
  • Annie Proulx
  • Tobias Wolff

The voices of these authors and many others resonate from the pages—sometimes humorous, sometimes heartbreaking, but always illuminating. A thorough treatment of craft and accessibility to engaging authors make Building Blocks—the first volume in this exquisite new series—the perfect guidebook for your writing life.

Mary Alice Monroe: On Writing the Family Saga

Mary Alice Monroe: On Writing the Family Saga

Award-winning author Mary Alice Monroe discusses what it's like to draft a series that spans generations and storylines.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: Final Competition Deadline, Short Story Virtual Conference, and more!

This week, we’re excited to announce the Self-Published Book Awards deadline for 2021, details on the upcoming Short Story Virtual Conference, and more!

John B. Thompson | Book Wars

John B. Thompson: On Researching Changes in the Book Publishing Industry

John B. Thompson, author of the new book Book Wars, shares the research that went into his account of how the digital revolution changed publishing for readers and writers.

From Script

Supporting AAPI Storytellers and Tapping into Mythical World Building (From Script)

In this week’s round-up from ScriptMag.com, meet South-East-Asian-American filmmakers and screenwriters, plus interviews with screenwriter Emma Needell and comic book writer/artist Matt Kindt, TV medical advisor Dr. Oren Gottfried, and more!

What Is a Personal Essay in Writing?

What Is a Personal Essay in Writing?

In this post, we look at what a personal essay (also known as the narrative essay) is, including what makes it different from other types of fiction and nonfiction writing, examples of effective personal essays, and more.

FightWrite™: How Do People Who Don’t Know How to Fight, Fight?

FightWrite™: How Do People Who Don’t Know How to Fight, Fight?

If your character isn't a trained fighter but the scene calls for a fight, how can you make the scene realistic? Author and trained fighter Carla Hoch has the answers for writers here.

April PAD Challenge

30 Poetry Prompts for the 2021 April PAD Challenge

Find all 30 poetry prompts for the 2021 April Poem-A-Day Challenge in this post.

The Problem of Solving a Mystery When You're the Prime Suspect

The Problem of Solving a Mystery When You're the Prime Suspect

Mia P. Manansala, author of Arsenic & Adobo, explains how writers can help their main character solve a mystery when they're the prime suspect.

Mistakes Writers Make: Not Using Your Spare 15 Minutes

Mistakes Writers Make: Not Using Your Spare 15 Minutes

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake writers make is not using your spare 15 minutes.