4 out of 4 stars
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‘The story world is restricted, selective, purposeful, intense, directed, and never random.’
‘Creating Literary Stories: A Fiction Writer’s Guide’ is a guide to any novice author through the turbulent waters of writing. Written by William H. Coles, winner of multiple awards such as the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and the William Faulkner, Creative Writing Competition, among many others, this book is composed of two parts. The first part outlines the importance of each theoretical element of fiction writing, the author giving us examples about their correct use. The second part highlights their practical use, teaching the wannabe writer how to create complex characters and organize the scenes in order to create a meaningful and successful work.
According to Coles, ‘In its basic form, a story starts, happens, and ends, but literary stories provide opportunities for in-depth characterization, with desires and motives that integrally relate to plot movement’. This is just one of the enlightening gems that the writer shares in this fascinating book.
In this engaging lecture, the author tackles the rudiments of creating and maintaining a successful story. For a start, it gives us information about the ways we can achieve a correct dialogue, the differences between all points of view, and the reasons why the second point of view is not favorable for a novel with superior quality.
One of the things I really enjoyed about this book was the way the writer analyzed the story of Little Red Riding Hood. In that chapter, Coles shows us the story in different poses, from the original one, based more on the direct characterization of the protagonist, to a more realistic, almost police version. From these examples, I understood that even with a successful plot, a book needs a lot of strong, well-crafted characters to get a rewarding result.
Furthermore, I liked the way the narrator asked questions that we, the readers, had to answer, in order to better understand the right and wrong actions we do when writing a novel. For example, ’What is the purpose of your dialogue? Does it advance the story? Does it carry the action?’and so on.
I highly recommend this novel to all beginner writers who need an anchor among these troubled waters of writing, therefore I will give it 4 out of 4 stars. ‘Creating Literary Stories: A Fiction Writer’s Guide’, by William H. Coles is a book that impressed greatly, giving me useful advice that I will definitely take into account when I will finally write my stories, and I am sure it will do the same for many others. It is one of the books that I think should be read by any amateur writer to improve his or her writing style.
Creating Literary Stories: A Fiction Writer's Guide
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