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The Writing of Fiction

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  101 ratings  ·  14 reviews
A rare work of nonfiction from Edith Wharton, The Writing of Fiction contains brilliant advice on writing from the first woman ever to win a Pulitzer Prize -- for her first novel The Age of Innocence.
In The Writing of Fiction, Wharton provides general comments on the roots of modern fiction, the various approaches to writing a piece of fiction, and the development of for
Paperback, 128 pages
Published October 8th 1997 by Scribner (first published 1925)
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J. Aleksandr Wootton
Verbose, stilted, comprised mostly of sentences twice their needful length, and assuming on the part of the reader a ready familiarity with the works of Balzac, Tolstoy, Eliot, Thackeray, and Austen, reading On the Writing of Fiction felt like wading through sandy shallows. Every step might stir up a cloudy bracken of unnecessary words, forcing one to stop until they settled and the shape of things became clear before moving on, hoping for glimpses of darting minnows or tadpoles.

I've blogged the
Inna Shpitzberg
I've only read Wharton, Edith. "The Vice of Reading." It's brilliant.
The Writing of Fiction (1925) - Edith Wharton

Very illuminating both on the art and craft of writing, and on the particular choices made by Wharton in her own writing and career. For the most part this looks at issues involved with writing from a fairly high level.

Also here are some details of her source waters, the writers and works that she held in highest esteem, and her ideas about those works.

This book should appeal to writers of fiction, as well as inquisitive readers of fiction (some great
The Writing of Fiction is a series of essays about the author's craft. She begins with a general discussion on the writing of fiction and then moves to several essays on short stories, more essays on constructing a novel, a good discussion on character and situation and concludes with a section on Marcel Proust.

I'm not going to cover all of the points in these essays. Rather I'd like to share some of the highlights I found interesting, plus share some quotes from the book so you will have a litt
J L Kruse
"...the seemingly simplest sauces are those that have been most cunningly combined and then most completely blent, the simplest-looking dresses those that require most study to design." - Edith Wharton, "The Writing of Fiction"

Attention, men, yes you, you singular, literary man multiplied multiple times over, sitting there in your literary world, attempting to tell literary women how to write like "real" artists, how to define for women what "serious" (read: tragic, boring and angry) stories wo
Don (The Book Guy)
A short book about how to write by one of the masters, Edith Wharton. She has chapters that focus on the short story, writing novels, discussing novels that focus on character versus situation , and one on the writer, Marcel Proust. A bibliography of the novels and authors she mentions would have been nice. If you read it, I would keep a notebook at hand to jot down the titles she mentions as exemplary examples of what she thinks is the best of English and continental authors. I mentioned to one ...more
Carlos Serrano Nouaille
¡Si es que ya lo dice el propio editor! «Unos principios no suficientes» para comprender la creación de la obra literaria. No, no son suficientes. Apenas se adivina la capacidad crítica de Wharton. No hay nada que me moleste más que un libreto construido a través de conferencias transcritas o retazos de artículos sueltos. Demasiado corto, demasiado insuficiente.
Marcus Speh
Like the writing books of other great novelists and writers — John Gardner, E M Forster, Margaret Atwood... — this book captures the imagination and not just the mind of any writer. Also don't miss Roxane Gay's review in HTMLgiant.
Not that many books on writing out there by writers of Wharton's stature--she's one of the all-time greats, in my opinion. And the basic message that I took from this book was that what separates good writing from great writing isn't a matter of style or technique--it's the quality of thought that goes into it.
This was really homey. I mean, it just read as though you were having a conversation with Edith Wharton. I borrowed this book from my library, but I'd really want to own it, just so I can return to it again and again. It is, I think, the most welcoming introduction to the craft of writing I have ever read.
This book confirmed my belief in Edith Wharton's genius. And persuaded me to give up the hope of writing fiction.
Kevin p.
A lot of French name dropping, but a good, insightful read--if you're looking for that whole 'traditional' thing.
This is the book for all writers of fiction.
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Edith Newbold Jones was born into such wealth and privilege that her family inspired the phrase "keeping up with the Joneses." The youngest of three children, Edith spent her early years touring Europe with her parents and, upon the family's return to the United States, enjoyed a privileged childhood in New York and Newport, Rhode Island. Edith's creativity and talent soon became obvious: By the a ...more
More about Edith Wharton...
The Age of Innocence The House of Mirth Ethan Frome Ethan Frome and Other Short Fiction The Custom of the Country

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“True originality consists not in a new manner, but in a new vision.” 13 likes
“Another unsettling element in modern art is that common symptom of immaturity, the dread of doing what has been done before.” 3 likes
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