By: Damon Knight
Where to begin? Despite my obvious lack of posts on the subject, here, I do fancy myself somewhat of a writer. And, I also fancy myself somewhat of a learner as well. Learning, I think, plays a huge part in our lives, no matter what it is that we choose to do. So, obviously, those two things being true, I try and read to learn about the craft of writing.
One of the things that I struggle with, in writing, is the short fiction. While I usually have no shortage of ability to write, I have a problem with length. Writing the short fiction is terribly hard for me. I invariably end up with something that is the right length, but the story is so far from finished that it begs to be longer. So, how, then, to create a short fiction that is complete in itself. And, now, you know why I picked up this book to read.
The title of the book sells itself short. In truth, it should have just been called “Creating Fiction”. Many, if not all, of the things that Knight talks about in the book apply just as well to long-form fiction as they do to the short-form that it’s aimed at. He begins by talking about the ways you can go about developing your talent as a writer, and then moves into the fiction itself. Development of ideas, structure of a story, and then into the finishing, editing, and publishing of stories to round it all off.
For a book of only 200 pages, it’s surprising the amount of information that Knight managed to fit into it. If you’re an aspiring writer, I’d suggest you pick this book up and give it a read. Maybe a couple of reads.