Rules of Thumb: 71 Authors Reveal Their Fiction Writing Fixations

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9781582973913: Rules of Thumb: 71 Authors Reveal Their Fiction Writing Fixations

Whether it's the simplest of prohibitions (don't use too many adjectives), or a cherished writing maxim (show, don't tell), all writers have a rule of thumb that guides their work. In this book, more than 70 contemporary writers share their own insight and revelations, offering insider tips and advice. Writers include:

Jiro Adachi
Steve Almond
John Barth
Steven Barthelme
Janet Burroway
Robert Olen Butler
Lydia Davis
Stephen Dixon
Molly Giles
Robin Hemley
Brian Kiteley
Bret Lott
Paul Maliszewski
Erin McGraw
Pablo Medina
Ander Monson
Rick Moody
Stewart O'Nan
Gina Ochsner
Thisbe Nissen
Scott Russell Sanders
Barb Shoup
Joan Silber
Joseph Skibell
Melanie Rae Thom
Steve Tomasula
Jane Yolen

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About the Author:

Michael Martone is the author of six books and a winner of the AWP Award for Creative Nonfiction. He directs he the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Alabama. Susan Neville is the author of four books, and teaches at Butler University.

From Publishers Weekly:

Neophyte scribblers should eat well (broccoli is a recommended brain food), avoid writing dream sequences, establish writing routines, write short chapters whenever possible and, above all else, "be wary of rules of thumb," because too many "can make a chap all thumbs." These advice snippets come from established writers and are collected in this go-to resource for blocked, procrastinating or otherwise distracted would-be writers in need of a quasi-mentoring. The counsel runs the gamut and can be contradictory-Molly Giles's contribution, for instance, is a list of incongruous "tips, tricks, tics, and tools" provided to her by her writer pals, and John Barth cautions against adhering to rules of thumb-but the ground covered is wide enough and the means varied enough that most young writers (many of the contributors teach at university writing workshops) will have no trouble finding helpful craft niblets (use "such" as little as possible; crying is okay, but do not write the word "tear") or a helpful tic to adopt.
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