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Fundamentals of Fiction Writing Paperback – March 19, 2010

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About the Author

A fiction editor for more than twenty years for leading periodicals, an instructor of writing, Arthur Sullivant Hoffman also authored several instructional manuals including "The Writing of Fiction," "Fiction Writers on Fiction Writing," and "Fiction Writing Self-Taught."
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 110 pages
  • Publisher: Black Dog Books; 1st Paperback Edition edition (March 19, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1928619924
  • ISBN-13: 978-1928619925
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,057,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Arthur Sullivant Hoffman was the editor of the pulp magazine ADVENTURE from 1911 to 1927, when it was considered to be the top pulp in the world and the one that most would-be writers really wanted to crack. Robert E. Howard fell into that category, because he was a regular reader of ADVENTURE and submitted many of his stories to it, but unfortunately he wasn't able to sell any of them. (Luckily for his readers he kept at it and had success with other magazines.)

Hoffman also wrote several books about writing fiction. This one, originally published in 1922, was reprinted recently by Black Dog Books, and it ought to be of great interest to anyone who writes fiction, at whatever level.

But one thing I should warn you about right away: Hoffman was very much a writer of his time, and even for that era, he was one long-winded son of a gun. But he has some really good things to say if you take the time to dig them out. Here's an example:

"For twenty years I have watched the flow of manuscripts - more tens of thousands than I like to remember - and am year by year more convinced that more embryo writers of appreciable ability are ruined by an overdose of technique at the hands of their literary doctors or by slavish copying of the work of some `successful' writer than by any three other causes you please to name."

I certainly can't argue with that. One of Hoffman's main points is that each writer should develop his or her own style and techniques that work, and that the best way to do that is by writing.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This an excellent book for fiction writers. There is a lot to learn here and none of it is dated, despite the fact that the book was written more than ninety years ago. One complaint: there was ZERO editing done. This book was simply scanned from original and published onto amazon, without any cleanup. Paragraphs break off mid-sentence and there are many typographical errors. A little effort should have been made since this book was not free.
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