Writing Fiction

The Practical Guide From New York’s Acclaimed Writing School
Bloomsbury, USA 2003
Alex Steele, Editor

Gotham Writers’ Workshop has mastered the art of teaching the craft of writing in a way that is practical, accessible, and entertaining. Now the techniques of this renowned school are available in this book. Here you’ll find:

• The fundamental elements of fiction craft-character, plot, point of view, etc.-explained clearly and completely
• Key concepts illustrated with passages from great works of fiction
• The complete text of “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver-a masterpiece of contemporary short fiction that is analyzed throughout the book
• Exercises that let you immediately apply what you learn to your own writing

Written by Gotham Writers’ Workshop expert instructors and edited by Dean of Faculty Alexander Steele, Writing Fiction offers the same methods and exercises that have earned the school international acclaim. Once you’ve read—and written—your way through this book, you’ll have a command of craft that will enable you to turn your ideas into effective short stories and novels.


PRAISE FOR Writing Fiction:

The faculty of the Gotham Writers’ Workshop—which now has 6,000 students not only in New York City but around the world (with online classes)—use an original approach in this how-to: Raymond Carver’s classic story “Cathedral” (reprinted in the book) serves as a basis for their discussion of technique. The contributors are not household names, but all are published authors of fiction. Chapters touch on all the essentials: character development, pacing, dialogue and revision (“Real Writers Revise” the chapter title [of Peter Selgin’s essay on revision] exhorts). All expand on the idea that “good writing comes down to craft far more than most people realize,” while also reminding aspiring authors that “rules are made to be broken.” The writing is fresh and full of concrete advice (e.g., “Desire is in the heart of every dimensional character”), and exercises allow students to explore what they have learned. This is an excellent starting place for someone exploring the art and craft of writing fiction..—Publisher’s Weekly

Here is an honest, engaging guide with lessons every writer, at any stage, will benefit from. I read it just after I’d finished writing my second book. Now I’m inspired to begin a third.
—Jhumpa Lahiri, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Interpreter of Maladies