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It encourages people to write a dull autobiography. The problem with my highwayman story, it seems safe to say, was that I had drawn on none of them. Writing is Art and Art is not Mathematics. James Joyce never saw Ulysses performed on stage, but we revere it as a work of art. Once the structure is there, the prose in theory should flow around it. You have to learn to stand outside of yourself. And my learning, through the process of the novel, through research and talking to specialists, was really what kept me motivated. Bharat was indifferent about Anand while Karthik thought Anand was a joke. John Gardner would likely say that I am simply not cut out to be a writer, but I disagree.

This works wonders in action scenes. Pick one answer and go with it, or tally up the responses and heed the consensus. John Gardner author of the acclaimed book of writing craft The Art of Fiction advocates the use of 3rd person narrators, especially the omniscient narrator.

Do we make up our own rules or do we read others and learn?

the art of fiction john gardner summary

Henry James talks about this in The Art of Fiction. What good writers know about their subjects is usually drawn from some combination of these sources. They will claim that anyone who criticizes their methods is simply incapable of understanding Art.

But which is it?

John gardner the art of fiction free download

Else you could end up restricting its natural flow constantly having to battle questions about how a first person voice is privy to key dramatic events happening to other characters. I walked away from this section thinking I could do anything at all, that I was in command. I was always amazed at how effective that was. Unfortunately, he has encapsulated them in such a dry wrapper that they are difficult to get your mind around. Like, have you known happiness? Encouraging them not to write what they know sounds as wrongheaded as a football coach telling a quarterback with a bazooka of a right arm to ride the bench. That to me is really the crucial thing, somehow having your work connect with your obsessions and your passions. They are endlessly interesting people, their lives brimming with uniquely compelling experiences, and too often they believe those experiences are what equip them to be writers.

Imagine it, create it.

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The Art of Fiction by John Gardner