Austin Neaves's Reviews > Technique in Fiction

Technique in Fiction by George Lanning
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's review
Feb 09, 2011

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bookshelves: writing-books
Read in February, 2011

I think of technique as "a preference in how to do something." And that's exactly what "Technique in Fiction" by Robie Macauley and George Lanning is all about: the different way authors have chosen to write fiction.

What made this book different from others books I've read about writing fiction is it doesn't tell you how to write fiction - it shows you how classical authors have done it.

And that is in many ways the strength and weakness of the book. Charles Dickens, Henry James, Leo Tolstoy, James Joyce, and many other classical authors have written masterpieces. There is a lot we can learn from them. And these classic authors often don't agree on key aspects of writing fiction. It's fascinating to see how (and why) they differed.

But many authors (including me) are not trying to write the next "Ulysses" or "Great Expectations." I'm more interested in writing a book that sells, gets read, and tells a great story. To be realistic, I don't have command of the English language enough to write the next great classic. For people like me, this book is less helpful.

This is one of those books I would love to read again (maybe in 10 years) when I'm wiser and older. I've read a lot of classics for my age and to be honest, I haven't read most of the books discussed in this book. So for now, I would rate this book 6 out of 10 (10 being great). But I can see where a better, more read author would get more out of this book than I did.

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