This Book Exemplifies The Best Of A Writing Workshop Thought Provoking Instruction, A Charismatic Teacher And Illuminating Examples From Classic And Contemporary Literary MastersEach Chapter Explores A Different Aspect Of The Art Of Fiction And Ends With A Series Of Writing Exercises In All Complete With Self Critique Questions To Help You Assess Your Work, These Exercises Challenge You To Experiment With The Diverse Writing Styles As You Clarify Your OwnMake The Most Of Josip Novakovich S Insightful, Mind Expanding Workshop And Come Away With A Stronger Voice, A Broader Perspective And Better Fiction . If you re looking for a writing book where an author riffs on writing for a while looks elsewhere It reads casual than a textbook would, but Fiction Writer s Workshop demands a lot of work out of the reader If you re not willing to go through it performing most of the exercises you re not going to get the most out of it Granted I ve yet to redo the whole book doing all the exercises, but as far as I ve gotten I ve consistently found stories that I didn t know I had in me The author takes the approach of throwing as many techniques your way as possible and then asking you to experiment with them You ll embrace some and loathe others and in the process you ll find out about yourself as a writer and end up with a few pieces that you ll definitely want to work on some.FWW probably has value if you re a beginner with the dedication to write everyday and learn the craft or an aspiring writer who s had trouble actually getting stories completed If you ve been published and are just looking for a source of new ideas this is probably a path you ve already been down before. Oh my God From ideas in the first couple of chapters, I wrote three, count em THREE short stories Similar output throughout the rest of the book Love it A very good resource for new and seasoned writers I am moving into the fiction genre, and this book is very helpful, especially the exercises Even if you don t actually do them, just thinking about the subject helps you learn There are many awesome examples of the situations that are described. I was introduced to this book last year, through participation of an Open University online course, so got myself a copy It s written in plain English, without the sanctimonious habit many instructive authors have of loading everything with mysterious jargon and or elusive, frilly words not used since Dickens was a lad This means that it s a book which extends a welcome to new writers, rather than making them feel out of their depth As a seasoned author himself, Novakovich is able to justify his lessons and examples through his own experiences He does, however, honestly state that these are just his experiences, and in no way intended to dismiss methods others support This makes the book as welcoming to other experienced writers too, because it doesn t disregard what they have to say.I ve read other reviews, and many of them allude to the extensive amount of exercises at the end of each chapter Some have insisted it s top heavy, in that respect Is it I challenge that and assert that writing as a profession is bloody hard work If a reader is serious about becoming a professional writer, then these exercises are really just the tip of the iceberg, and a realistic way of setting expectations of what needs to be done to succeed I still have many of these exercises to do, and will continue to redo them in the future.Overall I think it s an excellent guide, providing the reader has an open mind and a good work ethic. It s super basic Some of the examples are taken out of context and the suggested changes are absurd The exercises are really the only reason to get this book. I found Fiction Writer s Workshop to be very informative There was a lot of information in this book that I had previously learned, but had almost forgotten While reading the book when I learned about a new technique or was re familiarized with an old, I would suddenly feel inspired to write just to test the techniques out Novakovich does an excellent job of breaking down by chapter the fundamental principles of writing For most of his advice he provides clear examples, which help to better illustrate the principles he is trying to teach.Early into the book, in the Setting As Antagonist section Novakovich speaks of a writers need to view the world through fresh eyes To experience everything, not only in the rare but in the mundane I felt this was an extremely important bit of advice As a writer, inspiration can sometimes appear rather illusive, but that is usually a result of our wanting to be inspired by an external force without attempting to find the inspiration on our own through simple appreciation of our surroundings Familiarity can sometimes be very inspiring, but only if we allow ourselves to see the familiar in different ways Novakovich says, I took my eight month old son to the zoo to see the elephants He found a bee circling around us far intriguing than a dancing elephant Instead of noticing gibbons leaping on trees, he noticed fish in the water It struck me that his perspective had a tremendous advantage over mine He saw the world, while I saw the zoo I found this to be wonderfully appropriate and important observation As writers, we can easily believe that ideas can be hard to come by, but if we view the world as a child would, we would find a story to tell about most anything.Later within the chapter, in the Setting as a Character Portrait section, Novakovich speaks about using the setting to describe a character He explains how using the character s habits of arranging or keeping his belongings can be a useful way to illustrate the characters personality This seemed to me to be a very comfortable way to describe a character, because it is something most people naturally do when entering another person s space It s human nature to judge a person by how they organize or lack of organizing their surroundings life The example Novakovich used from Dead Souls, by Nikolai Gogol, was a perfect example of this method It gave me a good starting point to begin my own experimentation of the method.I would say that the biggest potential shortcomings of the book were the exercises Not for their content, but for the layout But, that would only be a problem in my opinion, depending on how the reader approaches them If someone felt they had to do each and every exercise then they might find themselves a little overwhelmed I took the exercises as suggestions that you could use in the future At times you either need inspiration or just want to practice, but I am not sure that is how Novakovich meant the reader to use them.Overall, I found the book to be very well structured making referring back to it rather easy Novakovich does a good job of providing clear tools that the reader can quickly apply to his her own writing I think I will find myself turning back to this book often While the practical tools he provides are valuable, I believe his advice on how to approach writing, and his advice on how to personalize your writing is probably the most important portion of anything he has laid out in the book. Okay okay so I always complain about books on writing yet I am constantly reading books on writing either for classes or as craft markers for my own practice This one was actually pretty good First of all, its written by an accomplished author that s crucial for me at this point Secondly, it presents itself as a textbook One of the aspects of the how to write genre that I can t stand is the veiled arrogance behind most of those books The posture tends to be, well you are actually a perfectly great writer and here are some tips to get past those pesky gatekeepers who need to be tricked into publishing your already great, flawless writing At least a textbook comes from the perspective that writing is a craft to be worked on and improved I ll stick with that sort of optimism carried over good work gets published no one is tricking anyone with secret codes and methods.Anyway, Novakovich is an interesting writer and though I disagreed with his opinions at times he actually invites this and by no means considers his own word final All in all this was a useful overview of the main building blocks of fiction and the included anthology of stories were useful and interesting. A great source for fiction writers, although it falls short in some areas Each section begins with a lecture of some sort, with examples and thoughts, then numerous assignments.It s divided into Sources of Fiction, Setting, Character, Plot, Point of View, Dialogue and Scenes, Beginnings and Endings, Description and Word Choice, Voice, then Revision.The chapter on gathering story ideas is pretty generic but useful in a broad way He lists some general things to trigger your thinking, like childhood, friends, stories you hear, but that s as far as it goes.Setting is divided into many sections, all useful, very informative, alive with detail If you had a problem with setting before, this is up your alley.The character section discusses round characters, their mannerisms, appearance, etc It has useful comments but again is all general.Plot is a great chapter he discusses character conflict plots, non confrontational plots, and combinations He mentions a note card technique for generating plots but as before, it s of an educational guide and not an inspirational one I didn t find much useful advice for organizing or structuring a story.His point of view is loaded with stuff I ve never seen before I consider this one of the best chapters the book offers.The only problems I had was the guide was written in a sort of stuffy way at times Also, many of the story examples used were not works I read, or have an interest in reading, literary types work that you focus on in school Because of this, it was a bit harder for me to get drawn into these sorts of examples.Overall, though, it s a great guide for writing itself, not necessarily novel writing or short stories alone.
Josip Novakovich Croatian Novakovi is a Croatian American writer His grandparents had immigrated from the Croatia, then part of the Austro Hungarian Empire, to Cleveland, Ohio, and, after the First World War, his grandfather returned to what had become Yugoslavia Josip Novakovich was born in 1956 and grew up in the Central Croatian town of Daruvar, studied medicine in the northern Serbian
- 250 pages
- Fiction Writer's Workshop
- Josip Novakovich
- 12 July 2018 Josip Novakovich