writing craft

Books on writing fiction

Ernest Hemingway, I’ll bet, was not a fan of books on writing—or things like MFA programs. His advice to novelists was famously pithy: “Write hard and clear about what hurts.” But many of us find solace in the advice of others, and need inspiration when we get stuck.

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Books to inspire

My favorite part of the writing process comes at the beginning: I go the Library of Congress and search for everything ever written on my subject. Then I find a carrel and wait for books to be delivered to me. One of those was a delightful book called The Garden of Eloquence, published in 1577. Another was a little book self-published by Mark Twain called English As She Is Taught, which collected the hilarious impressions schoolchildren hold of grammar.

Here are other books that have become my favorites, whether because I discovered them at the Library of Congress, or because I’ve turned to them again and again when I’ve been in trouble. The list also includes books recommended by writers I trust. They are listed alphabetically, so make sure to read to the end!

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Moseying back to slow writing

A while ago, I wrote about how I am a naturally slow writer. This didn’t serve me so well as a newspaper reporter—the necessary superficialities of stories banged out on deadline frustrated me. I am happier writing for magazines and books, where part of the idea is to arrive at dense, layered writing, the product of much rumination and even more crafting.

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Some of my favorite stylists share their thoughts Buy Prednisolone Without Prescription, Ask any writer to define literary style, and you’ll find that the answer is as distinct as, well, that writer’s style. I noodled around on the Net and found that Gore Vidal defined style as “knowing who you are, Where can i buy Prednisolone online, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.”

Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini, on the other hand, where can i find Prednisolone online, called it “craftsmanship”: “What's really important for a creator isn't what we vaguely define as inspiration or even what it is we want to say, After Prednisolone, recall, regret, or rebel against, fast shipping Prednisolone. No, Prednisolone price, what's important is the way we say it. Art is all about craftsmanship. Others can interpret craftsmanship as style if they wish, Prednisolone recreational. Style is what unites memory or recollection, ideology, sentiment, nostalgia, presentiment, to the way we express all that, Buy Prednisolone Without Prescription. It's not what we say but how we say it that matters.”

Poet Robert Frost remarked that “style is the mind skating circles around itself as it moves forward.”

Are you dizzy yet. Prednisolone steet value, I took a crack myself at defining style in an essay in Talking Shop: I suggest that literary stylists use wonderful words, smart syntax, literary devices, Prednisolone no prescription, and maybe even structure to echo or underscore the idea of their story. Prednisolone results,


But, mucking  around a bit more, I asked some of my favorite writers—including Po Bronson and Susan Orlean—how they define style, Prednisolone over the counter, and whether they have favorite “stylists.” Here’s what they said:

Po Bronson:

I don't have singular favorite stylists, Buy Prednisolone online cod, I just keep a mental catalog of style tricks I've seen over the years, which are available to draw upon (if, theoretically, Prednisolone treatment, I could remember them at the right moment). Buy Prednisolone from canada, But I do think about it. On my website I have this page Buy Prednisolone Without Prescription, where I have an example of a variety of fiction and nonfiction, implementing stronger styles of various sorts. One's a story through FAQ style narrative. One’s nonfiction meant to read with the immersion of fiction, purchase Prednisolone online. One’s about split alternative narrative futures. Prednisolone dangers, One’s an early short story in maximalist voice, my reaction to the popularity of minimalism in the early 90s.

Susan Orlean:

Style is so hard to describe.., Buy Prednisolone Without Prescription. I guess I'd say it's as ineffable and indescribable as someone's personality, Prednisolone gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release, and in fact, Buying Prednisolone online over the counter, I think a writer's style is linked exactly to personality. It's the voice of the storyteller, the distinct tone and tenor of how a writer “talks.” I think of it as a genuine and organic expression of the writer's way of looking at the world, is Prednisolone safe.  My favorite stylist. Order Prednisolone online overnight delivery no prescription, Hmm. Buy Prednisolone Without Prescription, Non-fiction. Or fiction.

Tommy Tomlinson:

I usually think of style as something that strikes me AFTER I've read the story—if the story is really good, where can i buy cheapest Prednisolone online, I'm a lot more concerned about what happens next than how the author is presenting it. No prescription Prednisolone online, When the style outshines the substance, I usually just put the book down. It's a delicate trick, Prednisolone dosage, I think, Prednisolone duration, to write in a style that sounds like a narrator (or a character) speaking, and not like the author speaking. I love a narrative voice that sounds more like somebody telling me a story than an author writing down words, Buy Prednisolone Without Prescription. When the style is right it's intellectually absorbing AND emotionally rewarding, Prednisolone pics.

Gary Smith of Sports Illustrated has a distinctive style—he talks directly to readers, Online Prednisolone without a prescription, guiding them through the story, peppering them with questions. Every time I read a new Gary piece, where can i cheapest Prednisolone online, it's a jolt to read that style, Is Prednisolone addictive, and I'm always thinking this is the time it won't work. Then 100 words later I've forgotten all about it and I'm neck-deep in the story. This is one of my favorites. And here's a story Buy Prednisolone Without Prescription, I did a few years ago as a Gary Smith homage.

Katy Butler:

The “literary style” I worship is compelling and transparent, buy Prednisolone from mexico. If style is the window through which I see the story, Prednisolone reviews, I don't want the window drawing attention to itself, covered with filigree or etching. I want to see the characters in the scene, order Prednisolone no prescription, and be absorbed in the writer's thoughts. Cheap Prednisolone, So I don’t like unnecessarily fancy words or over-clever thoughts. On the other hand, I work for hours on the opening of a piece to get it right, Buy Prednisolone Without Prescription. I don't want any dirt or lumps on that window. I scan the sentences, Prednisolone without prescription, as if they were poetry, Buy cheap Prednisolone, because what trips the tongue will trip the eye, and beautiful rhythm will please and reassure the reader without her knowing it. You want the reader to know she's in good hands, Prednisolone cost. I omit unnecessary words and details. Buy Prednisolone Without Prescription, I trust my irrational mind or heart when it insists on including a detail whose significance I don't understand. Purchase Prednisolone, In the opening of “My Father’s Broken Heart” [written for the New York Times Magazine], I HAD to include the mention of two cardinals in my mother's birdbath, her Japanese iron teapot, Prednisolone description, the weak October sunlight in which we discuss turning off my aged father's pacemaker.  I don't want the reader to linger over those details, Purchase Prednisolone for sale, but I want them to subtly suggest the fidelity of a long marriage, my immigrant mother's foreignness and interest in Zen, the weakening of the end of life, Prednisolone images.

So I like style that is pared-down, Prednisolone maximum dosage, and yet beautiful. Metaphors and similes exist, but are sparely used, Prednisolone for sale. More is implied than stated. There's rhythm, alliteration, choice of “kitchen table” Anglo-Saxon words rather than multisyllabic Latinate language, Buy Prednisolone Without Prescription.

On the other hand, I love Virginia Woolf, and her language is often complex. But the language never overwhelms the images. I am carried on a stream.

Primo Levi's "Survival in Auschwitz" is another example of the style I like. Buy Prednisolone Without Prescription, Good prose writers are secret poets. We use all of the craft skills of poetry: telling detail, synecdoche, repeating elements at the opening and the end, rhythm, scansion, etc. But we pretend we aren't doing it.


My colleague Audrey Dolar Tejada, a journalist and poet who experiments with nonlinear storytelling at www.strangetango.com, added these thoughts:

Literary style is ultimate self-expression and exploration. In an era in which books are largely marketed to leverage on multiple platforms, in digital forms, as movies and screenplays, and as brands, I eschew the temporal for the eternal. Stylists like Italo Calvino and Jorge Luis Borges wrote novellas—a literary form now rarely published in which concept and form, not necessarily plot, are part of the intellectual and sensory enjoyment of literary works, Buy Prednisolone Without Prescription. Judged against today’s best sellers, Borges’ “The Library” and Calvino’s “Invisible Cities” are unmatched in their innovation, spare beauty, and ambition.

How do you define style. Add your comments, below. And if you’d like to play around a bit with style, there are some suggestions in Week Twelve section of Online Writing Classes.

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Ask any writer to define literary style Buy Toradol Without Prescription, , and you’ll find that the answer is as distinct as, well, that writer’s style. I noodled around on the Net and found that Gore Vidal defined style as “knowing who you are, Order Toradol from mexican pharmacy, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.”

Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini, on the other hand, online buying Toradol, called it “craftsmanship”: “What's really important for a creator isn't what we vaguely define as inspiration or even what it is we want to say, Toradol canada, mexico, india, recall, regret, or rebel against, australia, uk, us, usa. No, Toradol online cod, what's important is the way we say it. Art is all about craftsmanship. Others can interpret craftsmanship as style if they wish, Toradol price, coupon. Style is what unites memory or recollection, ideology, sentiment, nostalgia, presentiment, to the way we express all that, Buy Toradol Without Prescription. It's not what we say but how we say it that matters.”

Poet Robert Frost remarked that “style is the mind skating circles around itself as it moves forward.”

Are you dizzy yet. Toradol street price, I took a crack myself at defining style in an essay in the Sin and Syntax Salon: I suggest that literary stylists use wonderful words, smart syntax, literary devices, Toradol forum, and maybe even structure to echo or underscore the idea of their story. What is Toradol,


But, mucking  around a bit more, I asked some of my favorite writers—including Po Bronson and Susan Orlean—how they define style, low dose Toradol, and whether they have favorite “stylists.” Here’s what they said:

Po Bronson:

I don't have singular favorite stylists, Toradol australia, uk, us, usa, I just keep a mental catalog of style tricks I've seen over the years, which are available to draw upon (if, theoretically, Toradol from canadian pharmacy, I could remember them at the right moment). Toradol used for, But I do think about it. On my website I have this page Buy Toradol Without Prescription, where I have an example of a variety of fiction and nonfiction, implementing stronger styles of various sorts. One's a story through FAQ style narrative. One’s nonfiction meant to read with the immersion of fiction, buy Toradol online no prescription. One’s about split alternative narrative futures. Order Toradol from United States pharmacy, One’s an early short story in maximalist voice, my reaction to the popularity of minimalism in the early 90s.

Susan Orlean:

Style is so hard to describe.., Buy Toradol Without Prescription. I guess I'd say it's as ineffable and indescribable as someone's personality, Toradol pharmacy, and in fact, Toradol natural, I think a writer's style is linked exactly to personality. It's the voice of the storyteller, the distinct tone and tenor of how a writer “talks.” I think of it as a genuine and organic expression of the writer's way of looking at the world, doses Toradol work.  My favorite stylist. Canada, mexico, india, Hmm. Buy Toradol Without Prescription, Non-fiction. Or fiction?

Tommy Tomlinson:

I usually think of style as something that strikes me AFTER I've read the story—if the story is really good, I'm a lot more concerned about what happens next than how the author is presenting it, Toradol no rx. When the style outshines the substance, Buy cheap Toradol no rx, I usually just put the book down. It's a delicate trick, I think, Toradol wiki, to write in a style that sounds like a narrator (or a character) speaking, Japan, craiglist, ebay, overseas, paypal, and not like the author speaking. I love a narrative voice that sounds more like somebody telling me a story than an author writing down words. When the style is right it's intellectually absorbing AND emotionally rewarding.

Gary Smith of Sports Illustrated has a distinctive style—he talks directly to readers, guiding them through the story, peppering them with questions, Buy Toradol Without Prescription. Every time I read a new Gary piece, online buy Toradol without a prescription, it's a jolt to read that style, Toradol photos, and I'm always thinking this is the time it won't work. Then 100 words later I've forgotten all about it and I'm neck-deep in the story. This is one of my favorites. And here's a story I did a few years ago as a Gary Smith homage, Toradol use.

Katy Butler:

The “literary style” I worship is compelling and transparent. Buy Toradol Without Prescription, If style is the window through which I see the story, I don't want the window drawing attention to itself, covered with filigree or etching. Herbal Toradol, I want to see the characters in the scene, and be absorbed in the writer's thoughts. So I don’t like unnecessarily fancy words or over-clever thoughts, Toradol overnight. On the other hand, Toradol alternatives, I work for hours on the opening of a piece to get it right. I don't want any dirt or lumps on that window. I scan the sentences, as if they were poetry, because what trips the tongue will trip the eye, and beautiful rhythm will please and reassure the reader without her knowing it, Buy Toradol Without Prescription. You want the reader to know she's in good hands, real brand Toradol online. I omit unnecessary words and details. Toradol from mexico, I trust my irrational mind or heart when it insists on including a detail whose significance I don't understand.

In the opening of “My Father’s Broken Heart [written for the New York Times Magazine], I HAD to include the mention of two cardinals in my mother's birdbath, taking Toradol, her Japanese iron teapot, Buy no prescription Toradol online, the weak October sunlight in which we discuss turning off my aged father's pacemaker.  I don't want the reader to linger over those details, but I want them to subtly suggest the fidelity of a long marriage, my immigrant mother's foreignness and interest in Zen, Toradol blogs, the weakening of the end of life.

Buy Toradol Without Prescription, So I like style that is pared-down, and yet beautiful. Toradol class, Metaphors and similes exist, but are sparely used. More is implied than stated, effects of Toradol. There's rhythm, About Toradol, alliteration, choice of “kitchen table” Anglo-Saxon words rather than multisyllabic Latinate language.

On the other hand, I love Virginia Woolf, get Toradol, and her language is often complex.. Discount Toradol, But the language never overwhelms the images. I am carried on a stream.

Primo Levi's "Survival in Auschwitz" is another example of the style I like.

Good prose writers are secret poets, Buy Toradol Without Prescription. We use all of the craft skills of poetry: telling detail, synecdoche, rx free Toradol, repeating elements at the opening and the end, rhythm, scansion, etc. But we pretend we aren't doing it.


My colleague Audrey Dolar Tejada, a journalist and poet who experiments with nonlinear storytelling at www.strangetango.com, added these thoughts:

Literary style is ultimate self-expression and exploration. In an era in which books are largely marketed to leverage on multiple platforms, in digital forms, as movies and screenplays, and as brands, I eschew the temporal for the eternal. Stylists like Italo Calvino and Jorge Luis Borges wrote novellas—a literary form now rarely published in which concept and form, not necessarily plot, are part of the intellectual and sensory enjoyment of literary works. Judged against today’s best sellers, Borges’ “The Library” and Calvino’s “Invisible Cities” are unmatched in their innovation, spare beauty, and ambition.

How do you define style. . Add your comments, below. And if you’d like to play around a bit with style, there are some suggestions in Week Twelve section of Online Writing Classes.

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