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Tag: CRAFT Book Summaries

A Closer Look: MEANDER, SPIRAL, EXPLODE

  I hope…that thinking about patterns other than the arc will become natural, that evolving writers won’t feel oppressed by the arc, that they’ll imagine visual aspects of narrative as well as temporal, that they’ll discover ways to design, being…

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Five Craft Books Off the Beaten Path

By Katharine Coldiron Writers at all stages of their careers need help understanding where they’re going. Sometimes, when a writer gets stuck, a craft book can help unstick her. Many craft books offer general information about how writing works, or…

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WRITING IN GENERAL, Rust Hills

Writing in General and the Short Story in Particular, Rust Hills Mariner Books, 2000 Originally published in 1977, this book examines the elements of craft, with an emphasis on the short story, examining the components of a successful short story…

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LIGHT THE DARK, edited by Joe Fassler

Light the Dark, edited by Joe Fassler Penguin Books, 2017 A collection of craft essays from a series in The Atlantic, this is a book to treasure, one to read again and again. The online series, called “By Heart,” is curated…

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NAMING THE WORLD, Bret Anthony Johnston

Naming the World, Bret Anthony Johnston, editor Penguin Random House, 2007 Naming the World is a craft class in a book. Edited by the writer Bret Anthony Johnston, the book is broken into typical craft chapters: Plot and Narration, Dialogue…

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THE ART OF HISTORY, Christopher Bram

The Art of History, Christopher Bram Graywolf Press, 2016 A recent addition to Graywolf’s wonderful “Art of…” series of books, The Art of History is a terrific resource for any writer. Although writers of historical fiction may be the primary…

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HIDDEN MACHINERY, Margot Livesey

Hidden Machinery, Margot Livesey Tin House Books, 2017 A collection of ten essays on writing by the great Margot Livesey is a book to be savored, to be read again and again. A thoughtful reader as well as writer, Livesey’s…

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CRASH COURSE, Robin Black

 Crash Course, Robin Black Engine Books, 2016 This lovely collection houses a series of essays on writing and on life. Many of the short essays live in the place where writing and life intersect, and as the book progresses, you…

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THE MAKING OF A STORY, Alice LaPlante

The Making of a Story, Alice LaPlante W.W. Norton, 2007 At a whopping 642 pages, LaPlante’s craft book is extremely comprehensive. Each of the fourteen chapters includes well-developed essays on elements of craft, exercises, and readings. The chapters cover plot,…

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