John Gardner on The Art of Fiction

At my friend Brian’s recommendation, I read John Gardner’s The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers. The book is about writing fiction, but what Gardner says can be applied to the writing of anything from a blog post to a scholarly article to a non-fiction book or even to a sermon. William McPherson’s blurb on the back cover is spot on:

“He lays out virtually everything a person might want to know [about] how to say it , with good and bad examples and judgments falling like autumn leaves in a November storm.”

One of the things I appreciate about this book is that Gardner isn’t messing around:

“What is said here, whatever use it may be to others, is said for the elite; that is, for serious literary artists” (x).

I don’t want to pile up all my favorite quotes from this book in one post, so you can expect more autumn leaves from John Gardner this spring.

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