How Fiction Works


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Rediscover this deep, practical anatomy of the novel from 'the strongest ... literary critic we have' (New York Review of Books) in this new revised 10th anniversary edition. What do we mean when we say we 'know' a fictional character? What constitutes a 'telling' detail? When is a metaphor successful? Is realism realistic? Why do most endings of novels disappoint? In the tradition of E. M. Forster's Aspects of the Novel and Milan Kundera's The Art of the Novel, How Fiction Works is a study of the main elements of ...

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Apr 16, 2009

writers' resource

Woods gives you, the writer, very valuable insight into your craft. This book may take several readings to fully appreciate. It follows in the footsteps of E.M. Forster's "Aspects of the Novel."

Let's say you are concerned with expressing the thought of your character. Wood takes you through the evolution of this process from the Bible to present.

His approach is to cite specific authors and their technique.

As a result of reading Wood, I looked at a major POV in a novel I thought I had completed. I realized that the character spoke in my voice and not his own. This provoked thought as to what voice would this character have? What would concern him? How would he form his thoughts and speech?

I can not promise you similar results because I do not know how deeply you are prepared to interact with Wood. But, if you are willing, the results are very worthwhile indeed.


Sep 11, 2008

Lives up to its title

So many books on literary criticism with so much confusion regarding "point of view", but this little book, such at treat to read, gives the best sense of author- reader relationship, I've ever read. If you are a writer, in any capacity, read this book. You will see why some fiction works. and some doesn't. And for you English majors, it's just something you have to know.

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