-- Catherine Keating (5/5 stars)
This book contains first-class advice. Donna Ippolito is a superb editor. She edited my first book at Swallow Press. She has gone on to advise and edit countless writers. I highly recommend this book to aspiring fiction writers.
-- Valerie@valerieharms.com (5/5 stars)
Every question I have wanted to ask an editor is answered in Writing Fiction. Written in a simple question and answer format, Ippolito tackles a writer's challenges and offers solid advice. If writers follow her suggestions, their short stories or novels surely will sell. I am going to recommend Ippolito's book to my writers' group as it will help us critique each other's writing, as well as improve our own.
-- Ann Caron (5/5 stars)
From the Author
From the Introduction
"We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master," Hemingway once said of writing. The essays in this book were written in that spirit. Many people are born with a talent for words, but only craft will lift talent to the next level.
Though brief, these reflections on writing fiction touch on every aspect, from where to get ideas, creating characters, and plotting to writer's block, making time to write, and finding markets. Drawn from Q&A columns written over a period of years, each is meant to be practical and encouraging, yet meaty enough for any writer of fiction.
You can read them in no particular order, like helpful hints, or from beginning to end, like a book. In deciding which ones to include, I tried to create a progression from one to the next, but each selection can stand alone for help with a particular topic.
In my work with hundreds of writers over the years, many have asked whether I thought they "had what it takes" or whether they were just wasting their time. My answer is always the same. Learn your craft. Keep writing. Keep reading. Keep submitting. Sit down to write even when you don't feel like it and read so voraciously that language becomes the air you breathe. Talent is just the raw material. Passion, grit, and perseverance are the "right stuff."
"You must want it enough," Phyllis Whitney reminds us. "Enough to take all the rejections, enough to pay the price of disappointment and discouragement while you are learning. Like any other artist, you are learning your craft--then you can add all the genius you like."
Be you a genius or a journeyman, dear reader, I offer this book in fellowship as we all travel along the path.