Review of Creating Literary Stories: A Fiction Writer's Guide

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Aliel Karen
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Review of Creating Literary Stories: A Fiction Writer's Guide

Post by Aliel Karen »

[Following is a volunteer review of "Creating Literary Stories: A Fiction Writer's Guide" by William H. Coles.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Literature has been an extremely successful form of expression throughout the years. Hence, the number of scholars talking about the subject. Creating Literary Stories: A Fiction Writer's Guide is a tutorial, almost step by step, on how to write on the genre of literary fiction. The author divided it into two parts: The first part of the book talks about the technicalities of writing, it uses examples of well-known stories to back up the lessons and introduces the reader to the meaning of literary fiction. The second part is about the creation of the story, it focuses on the meaning of the story and characters.

William H. Coles does a wonderful job of making the lessons clear and easy to grasp. The writing feels very technical and sometimes I got the feeling I was reading a school textbook - grabbing pen and paper is a must -, which in my opinion is an awesome way to provide this kind of information. In addition, at the end of the chapters, there are summaries and guidelines with a few questions that make it easier to apply the teaching in your work, thus, proving that the book does a great job as a guide on improving the craft of writing. Also, I was really happy with the examples he used as it made things clearer in my mind.

As the book talks about literary fiction, a genre that focuses on style and depth, with a big emphasis on word meanings, it was expected to have more technical and non-popular words to describe things that could've been said with everyday vocabulary. Although I was aware of it, it still bothered me a bit - for example, Fait Accompli -, so if I had to point out any negative aspect of the book, that would be it.

I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It feels very nice to read, smooth, and objective. The author accomplishes the goal of being the guide to writers of this genre with ease. I also appreciated the paragraph about transitions as it is not a subject that is often written or talked about to new writers.

I'd recommend Creating Literary Stories: A Fiction Writer's Guide to lovers and writers of literary fiction. If looking for inicial information to start writing, I believe any genre would benefit from the lessons provided by the book as it gives great knowledge that could be used in other fields.

Creating Literary Stories: A Fiction Writer's Guide
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