The Technique of Fiction Writing View full size
The Technique of Fiction Writing

A great part of the technique of fiction writing concerns matters of conception and development which are preliminary to actual writing. In fact they are essentially and peculiarly the technique of fiction. The story that is not a justly ordered whole, with each part in its due place and no part omitted, cannot have full effect, however[9] great the strictly executive powers of its writer. Verbally faultless telling will not save a story which is not logically built up and developed, either before writing or in the process of writing. The art of telling a story is largely the art of justly manipulating its elements. The art of telling it with verbal perfection is not so much a part of the strict technique of fiction writing as it is of the general technique of writing. Therefore I have made little attempt to discuss the general art of using words. For assistance in studying the art of expression the reader should turn to a work on rhetoric. The subject is too inclusive for adequate treatment here. Moreover, it is debatable whether the art of verbal expression can be studied objectively with any great profit. But the art of putting a story together can be studied objectively with profit, and its principles are subject to direct statement.


Robert Saunders Dowst


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