On Becoming a Novelist
"One of the greatest creative writing teachers we've ever had." —Frederick BuschOn Becoming a Novelist contains the wisdom accumulated during John Gardner's distinguished twenty-year career as a fiction writer and creative writing teacher. With elegance, humor, and sophistication, Gardner... show more
"One of the greatest creative writing teachers we've ever had." —Frederick BuschOn Becoming a Novelist contains the wisdom accumulated during John Gardner's distinguished twenty-year career as a fiction writer and creative writing teacher. With elegance, humor, and sophistication, Gardner describes the life of a working novelist; warns what needs to be guarded against, both from within the writer and from without; and predicts what the writer can reasonably expect and what, in general, he or she cannot. "For a certain kind of person," Gardner writes, "nothing is more joyful or satisfying than the life of a novelist." But no other vocation, he is quick to add, is so fraught with professional and spiritual difficulties. Whether discussing the supposed value of writer's workshops, explaining the role of the novelist's agent and editor, or railing against the seductive fruits of literary elitism, On Becoming a Novelist is an indispensable, life-affirming handbook for anyone authentically called to the profession. "A miraculously detailed account of the creative process."—Anne Tyler, Baltimore Sun
Publish date: October 17th 1999
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Pages no: 172
Edition language: English
Proper review to come soon. I actually quite liked this insight on writing practice, personality, and guidelines from Gardner. It's not so much a "how to" guide in the sense of walking you through aspects of writing, but noting some of the strengths and attributes a writer must have in order to be...
This slim volume is an easy read with a lot of insightful commentary by a well-respected writer. I've never read any of Gardner's novels, but I may have to try one just to see how what he said about the writing process played out in practice. The book is a mix of "How to write" fundamentals that go ...
I'm quite keen on books about how to write, but I'm not sure I agree with this one. Probably because 'being a good writer' and 'being good at giving advice to aspiring writers' isn't exactly the same thing? The elitist point of view of the author, his way of presenting the writer as some kind of wei...