Official Review: Creating Literary Stories: A Fiction Wri...

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KristyKhem
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Latest Review: Creating Literary Stories: A Fiction Writer's Guide by William H. Coles

Official Review: Creating Literary Stories: A Fiction Wri...

Post by KristyKhem » 04 Jul 2019, 12:53

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Creating Literary Stories: A Fiction Writer's Guide" by William H. Coles.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Creating Literary Stories: A Fiction Writer’s Guide is a handbook designed to help writers navigate the murky waters of story conception and execution. It was written by William H. Coles, an author who has won awards such as the Flannery O’ Connor Award for Short Fiction. His book is separated into two parts. The first part discusses the various elements of literary fiction and the second part provides advice on how to create an interesting and successful fiction story. The importance of characters, setting, and conflict in a story are explained in detail. Advice for writing in different points of view are also explored.

I chose this book to read and review because I write short stories for magazines and blogs. Some have been published and some haven’t, so I was hoping that this book could offer some advice and help me to master the skill of writing fiction. I was not disappointed. I really liked how William H. Coles analyzed the features of literary fiction, especially the different kinds of points of view (first-person, third-person, and narrator’s POV). He described the narrator as floating in a hot air balloon, providing useful overviews as the events in a story unfold. I also learned that using the second-person point of view in a story does not leave a big impact on most readers and can even come across as confrontational to some.

To illustrate the reasons why stories are effective, William H. Coles did a thorough analysis of Little Red Riding Hood, a story that has lasted 150 years. This was what I enjoyed the most. He wrote about the messages that this story conveyed, and, I realized that it was only able to present these messages effectively because the main character drove the plot. From this, I learned how valuable good characterization is. Furthermore, I liked how the author twisted this childhood story to form an action-adventure version as well as a more realistic one which was less effective at conveying the initial messages. Giving both positive and negative examples in this handbook was something I definitely appreciated. There was even a chapter explaining why literary stories fail.

This book definitely made me see fiction-writing differently. It made me contemplate the reasons why I write stories. It made me realize the importance of my readers and the importance of structuring my stories in a meaningful way for their enjoyment. I felt like I have learned a lot about writing from reading this book and I’m excited to apply this newfound knowledge. Anyone who is interested in writing literary fiction should read this book. Authors who want to brush up on their writing skills and students who are pursuing creative writing or literary studies will also benefit from reading this book. I rate it 3 out of 4 stars.

I wanted to give this book a perfect rating, but I couldn’t. As for grammatical mistakes, there were only a couple of minor ones. However, there were many formatting errors which included crossed-out words and colored correction pointers. For this reason, I deducted a star from the final rating.

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Creating Literary Stories: A Fiction Writer's Guide
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kdstrack
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Post by kdstrack » 06 Jul 2019, 15:58

This seems to be a very practical book to help writers. I appreciate your example about how the author deconstructed the fairy tale and applied it to the writing process. I have read some of this author's novels, so it was interesting to understanding his writing process. Great review. Best wishes on your writing!

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Post by Nyambura Githui » 06 Jul 2019, 16:04

I'm a writer and I've been looking for something to help me grow my skill and stories. This book is exactly what I was looking for. Amazing review.

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KristyKhem
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Latest Review: Creating Literary Stories: A Fiction Writer's Guide by William H. Coles

Post by KristyKhem » 06 Jul 2019, 19:22

Nyambura Githui wrote:
06 Jul 2019, 16:04
I'm a writer and I've been looking for something to help me grow my skill and stories. This book is exactly what I was looking for. Amazing review.
Excellent! I'm happy my review pointed you in the right direction :)

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Post by garlicclove » 07 Jul 2019, 18:55

I've been looking for a book on writing that focuses on POV, the different pros and cons of 1st and 3rd person, and how to execute each skillfully. It sounds like this one is just the thing.

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Post by esp1975 » 08 Jul 2019, 10:18

The formatting errors would drive me crazy. You would think that someone writing about effective writing would remember that formatting is a major part of that. As a writer who mostly writes "genre" fiction as opposed to literary fiction, I wonder if this book is really only meant for those who see themselves writing "literary" fiction, or for all fiction writers.

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Post by Dee_218 » 09 Jul 2019, 00:15

I am an aspiring writer and I would highly love to give this book a try based on your review. I also clicked on the review purposefully knowing what I would find.
Thank you.

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Kaylee123
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Post by Kaylee123 » 09 Jul 2019, 11:26

I've read work of William H. Coles, and he sure has a way of writing stories! I think it would be so interesting to read about his opinion of how to write!
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Post by e-reeder » 16 Jul 2019, 18:26

The formatting errors will subtract from my reading pleasure. However, this author has a superb way of writing. Too bad the errors won't make me check this one out

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