On Writing Fiction

Rethinking conventional wisdom about the craft of writing fiction. 
Author:
Publish date:


On Writing Fiction
Rethinking Conventional Wisdom About the Craft
by David Jauss
Writer's Digest Books, 2011
ISBN: 978-159963-262-9
$14.99, paperback, 256 pages

Image placeholder title

Read an excerpt
Author David Jauss discusses what writers mean by "flow" in this excerpt from On Writing Fiction.

About the book

The pieces of a satisfying novel or story seem to fit together so effortlessly, so seamlessly, that it’s easy to find yourself wondering, “How on earth did the author do this?” The answer is simple: He sat alone at his desk, considered an array of options, and made smart, careful choices.

In On Writing Fiction, award-winning author and respected creative writing professor David Jauss offers practical information and advice that will help you make smart creative and technical decisions about such topics as:

• Writing prose with syntax and rhythm to create a “soundtrack” for the narrative
• Choosing the right point of view to create the appropriate degree of “distance” between your characters and the reader
• Harnessing the power of contradiction in the creative process

In one thought-provoking essay after another, Jauss sorts through unique fiction-writing conundrums, including how to create those exquisite intersections between truth and fabrication that make all great works of fiction so much more resonant than fiction that follows the “write what you know” approach that’s so often used.

David Jauss is … a master, and this book grants its readers—you who desire to know what it means to write—an invaluable course of study, all at the hands of this extraordinary teacher, writer, and human.
—Bret Lott, author of Jewel, A Song I Knew by Heart, Ancient Highway, and other books

FightWrite_12:04

FightWrite™: Crime Fiction and Violence

Author and trained fighter Carla Hoch answers a writer's question about writing from the perspective of criminals and when best to utilize a fight.

Poetic Forms

Sedoka: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the sedoka, a 6-line question and answer Japanese form.

plot_twist_story_prompts_dream_sequence_robert_lee_brewer

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Dream Sequence

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, let your characters dream a little dream.

WD Vintage_Armour 12:03

Vintage WD: Don't Hide Your Light Verse Under a Bushel

In this article from 1960, poet and author Richard Armour explores the importance of light verse and gives helpful hints to the hopeful poet.

Arlen_12:1

Tessa Arlen: On Polite Editorial Tussles and Unraveling Mysteries

In this article, author Tessa Arlen explains how to navigate the differences between American and English audiences and create a realistic historical mystery.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 547

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a lazy poem.

Williams_12:1

Denise Williams: Romance, Healing, and Learning to Love Revisions

Author Denise Williams recounts her experience with writing her first book while learning about the publishing industry and the biggest surprise about novel revisions.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2020 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Next Steps

Here are the final steps for the 13th annual November PAD Chapbook Challenge! Use December and the beginning of January to revise and collect your poems into a chapbook manuscript. Here are some tips and guidelines.