4 out of 4 stars
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Creating Literary Stories: A Fiction Writer's Guide by William H. Coles is a non-fiction book that aims to help authors improve in their writing. The book is a quick, short read divided into two parts. Book One, The Literary Story in Fiction covers the major components found in fiction books such as narration, characterization, and plot. Book Two, Creating a Literary Fiction Story expounds on the mistakes that authors make in storytelling. The guide also includes an appendix that defines phrases used in the book.
Coles is a published author whose knowledge comes from years of experience as a writer. He arranges the book's content in a systematic order, using simple language that is easy to understand and detailed examples to explain different aspects of storytelling.
I like how the author includes excerpts from his novels. He uses them to further explain points, reinforcing my belief in the author's expertise. The little sneak peeks aroused my curiosity about Cole's works. I am going to read some of his books. I also appreciated the author's conversationalist tone. While reading, I felt like a student in an old, kind professor's lecture room. The book is professionally edited as I only found two typos. For these reasons, I rate the book 4 out of 4 stars.
I found nothing to dislike about the book. However, I disagree with a point that the author made. He encourages writers to write for the reader's enjoyment instead of writing for self-catharsis. I have come across great books where the author writes for self-expression and a way to deal with their emotions. I believe it's best to encourage writers to express their feelings and emotions through their art and let editors deal with recreating the story for readers to enjoy.
I recommend Creating Literary Stories: A Fiction Writer's Guide not just to aspiring authors, but editors and reviewers as well. I now know what to look for in a book depending on the setting and the different plots in a story. Not only that, but I also understand how to find different themes in a book, the difference between story time and real-time and different ways to show emotions in a story. I also know creating a useful and realistic dialogue between characters is important. I am now a better reader and reviewer. There are no profane words. The book is best suited to readers above 15 years old.
Creating Literary Stories: A Fiction Writer's Guide
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