Gotham Writers' Workshop : writing fiction : the practical guide from New York's acclaimed creative writing school

by Alexander Steele (Editor)

Paperback, 2003




New York : Bloomsbury : Distributed to the trade by Holtzbrinck Publishers, 2003.


Gotham Writers' Workshop has mastered the art of teaching the craft of writing in a way that is practical, accessible, and entertaining. Now the techniques of this renowned school are available in this book. Here you'll find: a) The fundamental elements of fiction craft-character, plot, point of view, etc.-explained clearly and completely; b) Key concepts illustrated with passages from great works of fiction; c) The complete text of "Cathedral" by Raymond Carver-a masterpiece of contemporary short fiction that is analyzed throughout the book; d) Exercises that let you immediately apply what you learn to your own writing. Written by Gotham Writers' Workshop expert instructors and edited by Dean of Faculty Alexander Steele, Writing Fiction offers the same methods and exercises that have earned the school international acclaim. -- Back cover.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member donp
Got this on the cheap at the campus store.
LibraryThing member RebeccaGraf
If you want to be a writer, you need to realize that there is a certain degree of having the gift of writing and a certain amount of knowledge that needs to be learned. The part you learn helps you fine tune the gift and improve what you are already good at. Gotham Writer’s Workshop: Writing
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Fiction is a book to do just that.

This is a non-fiction book that is designed to help you as a writer improve on your art. Chapters cover characters, plots, descriptions, dialogue, setting, voice, pace, theme and drafts. It is full of suggestions, tips, exercises, and experience as well as a writer’s cheat sheet.

I found myself highlighting quite a bit of it and marking pages to reference later. Each chapter is written by a different writer who gives you their experience in that particular area. I loved how the writers were honest on what they did wrong as a new writer and what they are still learning. It gives a new writer hope.

There is nothing useless on any of the pages. Everything said is so helpful and can be used. This is a book you’ll find yourself going back to and referencing many times if you are a serious writer. When you get this book, make sure you have pencil and highlighter ready to go. You might even want a notebook to work on the exercises. This would be a great book for a writing club to read and discuss.

Note: This book was purchased with my own funds.
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LibraryThing member BrynDahlquis
It really is a very good book on writing. Some of it's just silly (even my fiction teacher says so), but a lot of it is useful, and it can definitely serve as a good checklist/guide/reference when writing. Whether you have questions/doubts on things like setting or dialogue or if you're uncertain
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what to do with something once you've finished it, this book can probably tell you something.

But I still believe that there's not always a wrong or right way to write, and this book actually says that too. For all the general rules and guidelines it gives you, there's always a note at the end of the chapter talking about the exceptions and the ways you can break the rule if you so desire. I appreciate this.

I will also point out that this book mainly focuses on literary fiction and not genre fiction, and therefore I disagree with a lot of the rules and advice it lists. Perhaps literary fiction is a lot pickier about things, or maybe genre fiction is just way more open to whatever the heck you want to do. I honestly enjoy genre fiction a whole lot more, and people who say it's just for entertainment while literary fiction actually says something important are just snobs and have no right to say what's art and what's not.
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LibraryThing member CharlotteBurt
I may have finished reading this from cover to cover but I doubt I will truly be finished with the exercises for many years. It is a complete guide to writing fiction of any length, and as a bonus, you get the wonderful short story by Raymond Carver, Cathedral which is referred to many times in the
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text. The version I read was published in 2003 and didn't mention self-publishing e-books at all. It is understandably is very US-centric. Overall a useful book to an aspiring author.
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