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The Art & Craft of Fiction: A Practitioner's Manual Paperback – March 31, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0984542703 ISBN-10: 0984542701

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The Art & Craft of Fiction: A Practitioner's Manual + The Art & Craft of Story: 2nd Practitioner's Manual + The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide To Character Expression
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 380 pages
  • Publisher: La Favorita Press (March 31, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984542701
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984542703
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #880,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Mixon's fresh attitude and sincere encouragement will make you feel good about your writing at every stage. -- HELEN GALLAGHER, SeattlePI --seattlepi.com/default/article/Book-Review-The-Art-Craft-of-Fiction-A-1028196.php

About the Author

Victoria Mixon has been a professional writer and editor for a bazillion years and is the co-author of the nonfiction Children and the Internet: A Zen Guide for Parents and Educators. She lives in Northern California with her husband and son.
She can be found at victoriamixon.com. 

More About the Author

Victoria Mixon has been a professional writer and editor for over thirty years. She is now a freelance independent editor, working with both critically-acclaimed published authors and aspiring unpublished talent.

Her blog, victoriamixon.com, was voted one of the Top 10 Blogs for Writers.

Mixon co-authored the groundbreaking Children and the Internet: A Zen Guide for Parents and Educators, published by Prentice Hall in 1996, for which she is listed in the Who's Who of America.

She is the author of The Art & Craft of Fiction: A Practitioner's Manual, one of the elite handful recommended by Preditors & Editors, and The Art & Craft of Story: 2nd Practitioner's Manual, receiving high praise from such award-winning novelists as Millicent Dillon, Sasha Troyan, and Kindle #1 Best Seller Stu Wakefield.

She lives in Northern California with her husband and son.

"A story is about someone like you who faces your scary symbolic stuff, goes through your terror, stretches their resources to the utmost, almost doesn't make it (as you're so deathly afraid you won't)--and, unexpectedly in the eleventh hour, wins!

Hurrah! Huzzah! The long, dark night is defeated, the fear is vanquished, and you're safe. Forever.

It's the same life, but it's different. They're overwhelming troubles, but they're magically surmountable. You're the same scared person inside, but you're stronger, smarter, luckier, more attractive, and people like you. The ones who don't like you simply misunderstand you.

The world is sane, and your life makes sense.

This is why humans began telling stories. It's why they drew on the walls of caves, why they painted designs on their bodies.

'We can transcend the madness,' they were saying."

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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This book is clearly the best fiction writing book I've read.
Courtney Salter
This is one of the few writing books I have read that is enjoyable, beautiful, lush, and engaging.
Sara E. Davies
Instead, I'd like to dive into what makes this book about writing better than most.
M. Terry Green

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By M. Terry Green on April 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
If you're like me, you're not looking for your first book about writing--more like your twentieth or thirtieth. So, I'm going to skip the part where I confirm that Mixon has done a fabulous job of covering all the basics. Instead, I'd like to dive into what makes this book about writing better than most.

Awesome Examples

Instead of the unending excerpts that seem to permeate other books about writing, Mixon provides interesting and instructive--delightful even--examples by creating her own. When she does discuss notable authors who are exemplary, it is a discussion, not an extract. She summarizes, interprets, and shines a clear analytical light on the reasons that author is exemplary. I also found the factoids about the private lives of these writers fascinating. (Pet peeve avoided: Although writers are often admonished to be readers, few books about writing will assume that we have indeed read or have access to novels.)

Humor

It's not a laugh-a-minute, nor should it be. But in a process that can be as long, daunting, and difficult as writing, humor isn't just nice, it's needed. Reading The Art & Craft of Fiction never felt like reading a book. It felt like listening to a conversation. Mixon has an engrossing ability to communicate clearly but not pedantically, colloquially but not simply. Also, apart from the humor, every chapter rings true to the writer's outlook and understanding. It wasn't as though she was talking about writing, it felt like she was talking about writing to me.

Microscopic Rules to Universal Truths

In the midst of all the excellent prose, I don't want it to seem as though the nuts and bolts of writing aren't covered.
Read more ›
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Courtney Salter on August 4, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is clearly the best fiction writing book I've read. I read it cover to cover and consistently refer back to it during the writing process. What clearly surfaces in the book is the author's passion for teaching the art and craft (as titled) of fiction. This isn't the book to buy if you're looking for the latest gimmicks and trends so you can push less than stellar material onto the public to make a quick buck. This is for those that desire to develop the skills required to create something you can be proud of. You'll learn the fundamentals and see how improving your craft is a life long process. The thought that consistently appears in my head is how fortunate I am to benefit from someone who has spent thirty years immersed in great fiction.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By K.M. Weiland, Author of Historical and Speculative Fiction on September 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
Most of us read writing how-to books for the cold hard facts. We're searching for some nugget handed down to us by in-the-know people that will transform us into prodigies or bestseller s--preferably both. (Actually, if I had a nickel for every cold, hard, dry, and deadly tome on the craft I've slogged through, I wouldn't need to be a bestseller.) But longtime editor Victoria Mixon's book offers much more than cold hard facts--it offers a hilarious, engaging read that would be worth the effort of turning every one of its 368 pages even if it failed to offer a single nugget. Happily, however, it's teeming with gold.

Mixon's broad look at the writing life encompasses everything from general advice and encouragement to copyediting, but she also zooms in on the meaty specifics of good storytelling. She opens her segments with fun and enlightening chapters that use examples from the lives and works of great authors such as Hemingway, Capote, and Poe to make hard-hitting points about character building, plotting, selecting POVs, writing descriptions, and crafting dialogue.

Mixon's ridiculously entertaining voice makes this book is a joy to read. Awash with humorous and practical examples of what and what not to do (based on her own experiences as an author and editor), The Art & Craft of Fiction will make you love being a writer if only because it means you belong to the special little club that gets to read this book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Wendy Burt-Thomas on September 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
Mixon has created a fun, funny and easy-to-digest melting pot of advice on craft, critiquing, career. Chock full of interesting anecdotes, common grammatical pitfalls, techniques and terminology, "The Art & Craft of Fiction" fills even the most seasoned readers' hunger for great books on writing fiction.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By roz morris on June 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
I have a friend from college who should have been writing novels years ago. If you're a writer yourself it's one of the traits you recognise in others - a certain way of understanding a character, a flair with language.
This book by Victoria Mixon is going to be my next birthday present to her.
Victoria takes books we all hold dear in our hearts and analyses why the author set the traps they did, characterised in the way they did, switched the story arc in the way they did. And a hundred other storytelling decisions.
For readers who are now feeling their way as writers, this is an essential book. And it's a lot of fun for those of us who are further on in our careers too. Recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D. Morris on September 23, 2011
Format: Paperback
In this era of breakneck "high concept" novels, style-bereft and selling at 99 cents or less, it's refreshing to come across this erudite and entertaining reminder that there is a real art to the very best fiction. Victoria Mixon looks at some of the greats like Hemingway, Henry James and the Brontës, and shows what it is about their writing that made them great. One caveat: you will be heading back to Amazon to buy all the books she talks about because, as is the case with all natural-born teachers, her enthusiasm for these classic works is infectious.
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