The stuff of fiction : advice on craft /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Bauer, Douglas.
Imprint:Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, c2000.
Description:135 p. ; 21 cm.
Subject:Fiction -- Authorship.
Fiction -- Authorship.
Format: Print Book
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Hidden Bibliographic Details
ISBN:0472097334 (acid-free paper)
0472067338 (pbk. : acid-free paper)
Notes:Includes bibliographical references (p. [133]-135).
Review by Choice Review

Another how-to book for beginning fiction writers, this volume joins dozens of these on the market. Such works almost always try to show young writers how to avoid doing things that might make their work seem too awkward and too amateurish. The basic idea for this genre could not be more simple: formulate some straightforward advice, toss in some examples from the work of well-known writers, and then trust that just about anybody who faithfully follows the advice and carefully analyzes the examples will produce publishable, literary prose. Bauer supplements the advice in this volume with some very good examples: John Cheever, Alice Munro, Denis Johnson, William Kennedy. And the advice itself is certainly sound (Don't be sentimental. And for heaven's sake, don't overwrite by using too many rapes, murders, and car crashes). The trouble is there are lots of other writers who offer more thorough and more interesting guides than this one. For practical advice, there's Jerome Stern and Rust Hills. For advice on shape and form, there's Madison Smartt Bell. And for pure inspiration, there's Brenda Ueland. With so many more successful books available, this reviewer can find no compelling reason to choose this one. J. Aber College of Mount St. Joseph

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review