On Writing Fiction
In the US, David Jauss is a prizewinning fiction writer and a popular speaker at writers’ conventions. Now comes his collection of essays on different aspects of the writer’s craft. His essays are not prescriptive, how-to, pieces that attempt to define rules. Rather, they set out to explore their themes in such a way that they deepen your understanding, and therefore help you to recognise how and why good fiction writing works.
The subject matter of these essays varies widely: one looks, for example at how writing in the present or past tense can impact on your writing, and how you can even afford to shift tenses if you know how to do it effectively. Another discusses a range of fictional structures: mimetic, configurational, and thematic and shows how and when to use them.
Do such topics really matter? Yes, they do, because if you understand how fiction works then as you are writing your material you will know how to drive it forward.