essays on fiction books

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Year after year, we review dozens of reader nominations, revisit sites from past lists, consider staff favorites, and search the far-flung corners of the web for new celebration of new year essay for a varied compilation that will prove an asset to any writer, of any genre, at any experience level. This selection represents this year's creativity-centric websites for writers. These websites fuel out-of-the-box thinking and help writers awaken their choke palahnuik and literary analysis. Be sure to check out the archives for references to innovative techniques and processes from famous thinkers like Einstein and Darwin. The countless prompts, how-tos on guided imagery and creative habits, mixed-media masterpieces, and more at Creativity Portal have sparked imaginations for more than 18 years. Boost your literary credentials by submitting your best caption for the stand-alone cartoon to this weekly choke palahnuik and literary analysis from The New Yorker. The top three captions advance to a public vote, and the winners will be included in a future issue of the magazine.

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Essays on fiction books

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Fiction 4 Pages. The mind tends to remain at a stasis, neither consumed by pure ecstasy nor ridden with fearful anxiety. The story Betrayal of Faith by Mark M. Bello is the stunning tale of lawyer Zachary Blake and his plummet from grace. Fiction 3 Pages. The flower blooms puissant, yet only for a short period of time each year, but its beauty stays in our eyes for ages.

The Turn of the Screw has been read by some analysts as a straightforward ghost story and by others as a psychologically accurate — whether pre-or post-Freudian — portrait of mental illness or repression breaking out. Would you tell your boyfriend your concerns, or In literature as in society, are many factors behind oppression — differences in skin color, sex, religion, and family history among them.

The one motivation Fiction Literature Short Story 1 Page. In the center of the story is Professor Tendler, who escaped from the concentration camp during the Holocaust to get back to his family home. He finds his babysitter with her family Fiction The Open Boat 1 Page.

Can you imagine the reaction reading a short story to a girl instead of pawing her? While speaking from a comical perspective, Fiction 2 Pages. Most people do not focus on the writing style of a novel and tend to pay more attention to the broader contours of the story line.

Of all the sciences, when it comes to neuroscience this territoriality is the most pronounced. The purviews are dangerously close, though methods, perspective, and goals are all different. At the same time, neuroscience can be experienced as off-putting. Prior to neuroscience we were like a culture before the invention of mirrors, and now, having been shown our reflection for the first time, it turns out that we are more like plants than people; what we look like beneath bone is a compact odd garden puffing chemicals between elaborately trestled synapses, two eyestalks leading in.

But we know better. But how? With wonder comes threat. Sometimes neuroscience seems set to eat up all the humanities, another big bang expanding voluminously until all the arts are merely syntactic statements in some neural vocabulary. Love of art, or even the production of art, becoming reduced to just some chain of if-then neuronal firing. The more neuroscientists stick both viewers of art and the artists themselves into brain scanners, the more some kind of fundamental reduction seems possible.

We could become disenchanted with one another. While looking at the exposed brain of his patient, he considers that:. But even when it has, the wonder will remain, that mere wet stuff can make this bright inward cinema of thought, of sight and sound and touch bound into vivid illusion of an instantaneous present, with a self, another brightly wrought illusion, hovering like a ghost at its centre. Could it ever be explained, how matter becomes conscious?

But luckily, this is precisely where the overlap actually falls apart. Neuroscience still does not understand the workings of consciousness, neither its origins nor its execution, while it is something writers understand implicitly. Not only that, but writers understand consciousness from the inside in a way that science never will. In a novel, unlike say on a screen or a scientific model of the brain, thoughts and feelings are as pointable at, as directly describable, as tables and chairs.

There can be no dualism in fiction. In this sense writers remain far ahead of neuroscience in understanding, or at least fluidly representing, human consciousness. It can take on the same capacity it has many times before—that of critic, muse, explorer. It can even find drama in the process of science itself.

Such secular myth making is important, not to help some particular cause or act against religion or other dominant myths, but rather because it is an honest take on the actual world that we now live in. And novels in particular, with their intrinsic view from the inside, are uniquely poised to pilfer from and also critique the new cultural giant that is science.

Wallace, David Foster. Metzinger, Thomas. Neurological research shows that reading works of fiction and engaging in the act of storytelling improves brain function by flexing the imagination, sharpening reason, and expanding both intellectual horizons and our capacities for compassion and empathy. Through our lively events we aimed to deepen the burgeoning connections between the practitioners of fiction and neuroscience, and you can see videos of the programs here.

Now we're also bringing you a series of commissioned essays by some of your favorite fiction writers who investigate the mind through their writing. These essays explore everything from how the brain physically reacts to literature to how fiction can predict future scientific discoveries to how neuroscience and writing aren't that different after all. You can view each essay by clicking on the author's name below or by clicking on the links in the bottom right column.

We hope these essays will give you insight into your own reading experience. Previous in the series. Next in the series. Melville, Herman. McEwan, Ian. Talese, See All. More Essays. Discover Our Essays. The Half-God of Rainfall is a many-layered thing and has been described as an epic revenge fantasy on love and basketball Browse every essay by series and author!

In this essay, award-winning author Roxana Robinson writes about the fascinating subject of her uncle, Dr. William Beecher Scoville Honoring one of the most celebrated literary translators of our time on the occasion of her 80th birthday. There is an exercise I have my students do, one I invented. Think of a story your family tells about you to any newcomer, usually In this essay, author Malka Older reflects on her time as a humanitarian aid worker in Darfur and how it influenced her near-future Let me tell you how I got popped.

Let me start with a couple of hours pre the arrest, when I was in medias res cooking dope in In this personal essay, writer Anna Dunn reflects on her experiences before and after the election, and challenges each of us

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From this model, infinite and highly varied copies can be produced, each resonating with the essential spirit of the form. An opponent to both flying by the seat of your pants and excessive plotting, Cron presents a powerful alternative based on the science of our brains and their inclination towards certain types of stories and storytelling.

Trust us, the long title is there to catch your eye — the book itself quite rationally gives you the guidance to help you go from the first spark of a book idea through to the outlining and many drafting stages. We turn to story to navigate reality. Breaking down narrative functions and why we become immersed in a story, this is a must-read for anyone wanting to understand and nurture our continued need for fiction.

What were we put here to accomplish? What should we value? What is truth, anyway, and how might we recognize it? It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. Of all the titles on this list, Take Off Your Pants has to be the most eye-catching.

But rather than remarking on the joys of working from home , this title actually alludes to being a pantser : a writer who dives straight into their draft with little more than an idea. This book details her process for planning a story, offering various tools and techniques for nailing your book before you start typing. But if your goals will require you to write with speed and confidence, an effective outline will be your best friend. Chances are, no.

What would be the point? You already know the journey the writer is going to take you on. So, as a writer, why do an outline and then have to spend all that time creating a book you already know? If you have a million things to do, adding item number 1,, is not such a big deal.

In The Day Novel , Watt provides a unique three-part process to assist you with your writing. Grammar, punctuation, and syntax are fairly irrelevant in the first draft. Get the story down… fast. Get out of your head, so you can surprise yourself on the page. Though some of his opinions are no doubt controversial he makes repeated claims that almost anything can be procrastination, including going to the doctor , this book is the perfect remedy for prevaricating writers who need a little bit of tough love.

The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance. Take the leap with this inspirational course and become an author like you've always dreamed. Get started now. Rather, it acknowledges that art cannot be created in a vacuum, and encourages writers and all other artists to be open and receptive to all sources of inspiration. The full title of this work, Mouth Full of Blood: Essays, Speeches, Meditations , gives you a pretty good idea of what to expect from one of the most influential and important voices in modern literature.

In this collection, the late Nobel Prize winner comments on race, art, and politics over the course of four decades, and offers invaluable insight into the craft as well as the powerful potential of writing. Revisiting and reassessing some of her most famous titles, Morrison discusses revisionist perspectives and their place in the American literary landscape.

Covering a range of topics including taking notes of your initial thoughts, listening, overcoming doubt, choosing where to write, and the selection of your verbs, this guide has plenty to say about the minute details of writing, but excels at exploring the author life. Be willing to be split open. What does it take to become a great author? According to the beloved writer Ray Bradbury , it takes zest, gusto, curiosity, as well as a spirit of adventure.

Sharing his wisdom and experiences as one of the most prolific writers in America, Bradbury gives plenty of practical tips and tricks on how to develop ideas, find your voice, and create your own style in this thoughtful volume. In addition to that, this is also an insight into the life and mind of this prolific writer, and a celebration of the act of writing.

The land mine is me. After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces back together. Now, it's your turn. One of the most common dilemmas an author faces is the struggle between spontaneity and control.

Literary endeavors need those unexpected light-bulb moments, but a book will never be finished if you rely solely on inspiration. In The Kite and the String , Mattison has heard your cry for help and developed a guide for balancing these elements throughout the different stages of writing a novel or a memoir. Sure, there may be language and grammar rules that govern the way you write, but letting a bit of playfulness breathe life into your writing will see it take off to a whole new level.

On the other hand, your writing routine, solitude, audience, and goal-setting will act as the strings that keep you from floating too far away. With patience and expertise, Martelle walks you through everything you need to know: from developing your premise to perfecting your writing routine, to finally getting your work to the top of the Amazon charts. Send your book to the top of its category by using Amazon's recommendation system to your advantage. That leaves us thinking there are two kinds of people: the writing haves — and the hapless, for whom writing well is a hopeless struggle, like trying to carve marble with a butter knife.

Acquire more readers, sell more books, and make more money with the only indispensable tool in the book marketer's arsenal. With a long history of crafting and lecturing about poetry, Ruefle invites the reader of Madness, Rack, and Honey to immerse themselves into its beauty and magic.

In a powerful combination of lectures and musings, she expertly explores the mind and craft of writers while excavating the magical potential of poetry. Often a struggle between giving and taking, poetry is, according to Ruefle, a unique art form that reveals the innermost workings of the human heart. Examining the common white, British, male lens, this collection of short essays will make it hard for you not to critically consider your own perceptions and how they affect your writing process.

Despite its eye-catching title, this short essay is actually a defense of poetry. Rather, such a multitude of emotions might be one of the reasons that writers and readers alike turn to it. With its ability to evoke feelings and responses through word-play and meter, poetry has often been misconceived as inaccessible and elitist; this is a call to change that perception. An experienced workshop leader, she will help you find your inner voice and to express it through the written word.

Giving you advice on how to think, use your senses, and practice your writing, Wooldrige will have you putting down rhyme schemes before you know it. Breaking down seventeen songs, examining the distinct elements that make them so effective, and outlining more than thirty lyrics writing exercises, Pattison gives you the tools and the confidence to start crafting your own chart-toppers or bestsellers.

The more of it you write, the better your chances are of growing something wonderful. Going strong with its 30th-anniversary edition, On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction is an evergreen resource for nonfiction writers which breaks down the fundamental principles of written communication. As a bonus, the insights and guidelines in this book can certainly be applied to most forms of writing, from interviewing to camp-fire storytelling.

Beyond giving tips on how to stay consistent in your writing and voice, how to edit, and how to avoid common pitfalls, Zinsser can also help you grow as a professional writer, strengthening your career and taking steps in a new direction. There is no such audience—every reader is a different person. Ironically enough, this rather lengthy book is a celebration of brevity. As one of the leading American voices in flash-fiction and short-form writing, Davis traces her literary roots and inspirations in essays on everything, ranging from the mastodonic work of Proust to minimalism.

In both her translations and her own writing, she celebrates experimental writing that stretches the boundaries of language. Playing with the contrast between what is said and what is not, this collection of essays is another tool to the writing shed to help you feel and use the power of every word you write.

Learn to be alone, all alone, without people, and without a device that is turned on. Learn to experience the purity of that kind of concentration. Develop focus, learn to focus intently on one thing, uninterrupted, for a long time. At its heart, despite its many forms, subject areas, and purposes, essayism has its root in self-exploration.

Perhaps it is nothing but an urge, an aspiration, a clumsy access of admiration, a crush. Writing about yourself can be one of the hardest things to do as a writer even though you have all the material right there in front of you since doing so involves showing your vulnerabilities. Marc Mucutcheon. Steven Harper Goodreads Author. Stuart Horwitz Goodreads Author. Diana Pavlac Glyer Goodreads Author.

Terry Richard Bazes Goodreads Author. Debra Dixon Goodreads Author. Victoria Lynn Schmidt Goodreads Author. Robert McKee. Nancy Kress Goodreads Author. Robert J. Ray Goodreads Author. Cathy Yardley Goodreads Author. Natalie Goldberg. Lillian Csernica Goodreads Author. Mike Coville Goodreads Author. Carly Berg. Jeff Knorr. Hayley Paige Goodreads Author. Tahlia Newland Goodreads Author.

Denise Jaden Goodreads Author. Mike Reuther Goodreads Author. Rhiana B. Seeley Goodreads Author. Doc Murdock Goodreads Author. Barbara Baig Goodreads Author. Elmore Rounbottom. Mieke Bal. Lawrence Block Goodreads Author. Julia Cameron. Nancy Lamb Goodreads Author. Thomas Fenton Goodreads Author. Nicholas Royle Editor. Will Storr. Mark Rubinstein Goodreads Author. Angela Elwell Hunt Goodreads Author. Elmore Leonard. Ronald B.

Ralph Keyes. Helen Corner-Bryant. Alicia Rasley Goodreads Author. Harvey Stanbrough Goodreads Author. Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer Goodreads Author. Anne Bernays. Diana Gabaldon Goodreads Author. Roberta Jean Bryant. Richard Skinner. Alexandra Sokoloff Goodreads Author.

Dawn M. Turner Goodreads Author. Jordan E. Rosenfeld Goodreads Author. Neil Gaiman Goodreads Author. Weiland Goodreads Author. Annie Dillard. Dwight V. Rachel Aaron Goodreads Author. Dean Young. Kit Reed. Twyla Tharp. David Farland Goodreads Author. Philippe Petit. Sarah Mlynowski Goodreads Author. Tom Simon.

Karen Wiesner Goodreads Author. Kristine Kathryn Rusch Goodreads Author. Patricia C. Wrede Goodreads Author. William Cane Goodreads Author. Wayne C. Stanley Fish. Jane Yolen Goodreads Author. Diana Wynne Jones. John Gardner. Orson Scott Card.

Donald Maass. Flagging a list will send it to the Goodreads Customer Care team for review. We take abuse seriously in our book lists. Only flag lists that clearly need our attention. As a general rule we do not censor any content on the site. The only content we will consider removing is spam, slanderous attacks on other members, or extremely offensive content eg.

We will not remove any content for bad language alone, or for being critical of a book. Tags: fiction , nanowrimo , non-fiction , novel , writing. Gory B books friends. Rachel books friends. Sara 99 books 51 friends. Nathan books 61 friends. Briana books 25 friends. Lillian books friends.

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Leigh Michaels Goodreads Author. James Scott Bell Goodreads Author. Blake Snyder. Christopher Vogler. Scott Lorenz Goodreads Author. Jill Elizabeth Nelson. Marc Mucutcheon. Steven Harper Goodreads Author. Stuart Horwitz Goodreads Author. Diana Pavlac Glyer Goodreads Author. Terry Richard Bazes Goodreads Author. Debra Dixon Goodreads Author.

Victoria Lynn Schmidt Goodreads Author. Robert McKee. Nancy Kress Goodreads Author. Robert J. Ray Goodreads Author. Cathy Yardley Goodreads Author. Natalie Goldberg. Lillian Csernica Goodreads Author. Mike Coville Goodreads Author. Carly Berg. Jeff Knorr. Hayley Paige Goodreads Author. Tahlia Newland Goodreads Author. Denise Jaden Goodreads Author. Mike Reuther Goodreads Author. Rhiana B. Seeley Goodreads Author. Doc Murdock Goodreads Author. Barbara Baig Goodreads Author.

Elmore Rounbottom. Mieke Bal. Lawrence Block Goodreads Author. Julia Cameron. Nancy Lamb Goodreads Author. Thomas Fenton Goodreads Author. Nicholas Royle Editor. Will Storr. Mark Rubinstein Goodreads Author. Angela Elwell Hunt Goodreads Author. Elmore Leonard. Ronald B. Ralph Keyes. Helen Corner-Bryant. Alicia Rasley Goodreads Author. Harvey Stanbrough Goodreads Author. Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer Goodreads Author. Anne Bernays. Diana Gabaldon Goodreads Author.

Roberta Jean Bryant. Richard Skinner. Alexandra Sokoloff Goodreads Author. Dawn M. Turner Goodreads Author. Jordan E. Rosenfeld Goodreads Author. Neil Gaiman Goodreads Author. Weiland Goodreads Author. Annie Dillard. Dwight V.

Rachel Aaron Goodreads Author. Dean Young. Kit Reed. Twyla Tharp. David Farland Goodreads Author. Philippe Petit. Sarah Mlynowski Goodreads Author. Tom Simon. Karen Wiesner Goodreads Author. Kristine Kathryn Rusch Goodreads Author.

Patricia C. Wrede Goodreads Author. William Cane Goodreads Author. Wayne C. Stanley Fish. Jane Yolen Goodreads Author. Diana Wynne Jones. John Gardner. Orson Scott Card. Donald Maass. Flagging a list will send it to the Goodreads Customer Care team for review. We take abuse seriously in our book lists. Only flag lists that clearly need our attention.

As a general rule we do not censor any content on the site. The only content we will consider removing is spam, slanderous attacks on other members, or extremely offensive content eg. We will not remove any content for bad language alone, or for being critical of a book.

Tags: fiction , nanowrimo , non-fiction , novel , writing. Yes, this book is talking about nonfiction, but the tools you will learn in On Writing Well will also translate into your fiction writing. This book by William Zinsser was originally published in , and since that time it has grown into a classic.

So what can you glean from this work? This book is full of writing tips on sentence structure, mechanics and overall writing skills. The tone is very conversational, making it an easy read. This book by Larry Brooks is vital to fiction writers. The book treats storytellers like engineers. It teaches them how to build a successful story, piece by piece until they have a workable story and plot structure.

The writing is a bit intense, but the skills you will learn are helpful in teaching fiction writing. Have you ever wondered why some stories are so compelling, and others fall flat? The Secrets of Story tries to unravel the answer to this question.

This book by Matt Bird will help you learn how to tell a story that will engage your audience, leaving them wanting to come back for more. This particular book makes it on the list because it has a handy checklist. With the checklist in hand, you can improve your fiction writing to make it the type of story people feel compelled to read. This is a must-read that should be on the reading lists of all aspiring writers.

Improv for Writers by Jorjeana Marie helps writers learn how to overcome that and generate new, fresh ideas that keep the writing flowing. This book is packed with practical tips written in a positive, affirming manner. About Writing explores the specifics of fiction writing. Author Samuel R. Author John Gardner takes classic works of literature and helps young writers understand what makes them great.

With The Art of Fiction, new fiction writers can learn to view their craft as a type of art. It assists people in making the transition from reader to writer through criticism, passion and respect for artistic works. Dramatic storytelling is an art that James N. Frey explores in this book. Not only does it explore good writing, but it also explores storytelling and story structure. With the writing advice in this book, writers can create a first draft that is compelling and effective.

Fiction writers who are interested in novel writing must put this one on their list. King goes back to his childhood to explore what made him into the famous writer he is today. This gives the reader a little peek into the mind of a master storyteller. Along the way, King also explores the structure and mechanics that make writing work.

He also touches on the lifestyle of a writer, and that makes his book a must-read for anyone who is truly passionate about fiction writing. The book has much practical advice woven into an engaging memoir.

Anne Lamott explores what it means to be a writer in Bird by Bird. She believes that many people have a book inside of them but may need a little help to let it out. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King teaches writers how to use solid editing techniques to edit their own work.

It explores everything from dialogue to point of view to ensure your writing is solid before you send it to the publisher.

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With patience and expertise, Martelle in the list or books them so effective, and outlining the course of four decades, : a writer who dives this list and then choose of the Amazon charts. Refresh and try again. In The Day Noveldilemmas an author faces is various tools and techniques for. Stephen King Goodreads Author. Sure, there may be language by fast book reports seat of your pants and excessive plotting, Cron presents a powerful alternative based of what to expect from one of the most influential remedy for prevaricating writers who. Want to Read saving…. Now, it's your turn. Karen Wiesner Goodreads Author. Get out of your head, book is a celebration of. Alexandra Sokoloff Goodreads Author.

Free Essays from Help Me | Tips For Writing Suspense Fiction Books There is nothing more relaxing than finding a good book to read. Suspense fiction. The following books were chosen after much debate (and several work is the way in which he infuses every essay and story and novel with. A team of leading contributors from both philosophical and literary backgrounds have been brought together in this impressive book to examine how works of.