Crafting Novels & Short Stories: The Complete Guide to Writing Great Fiction

Crafting Novels & Short Stories: The Complete Guide to Writing Great Fiction

Crafting Novels & Short Stories: The Complete Guide to Writing Great Fiction

Crafting Novels & Short Stories: The Complete Guide to Writing Great Fiction


Learn How to Create Stories That Captivate Agents, Editors, and Readers Alike

Inside you'll find the tools you need to build strong characters, keep your plots moving, master the art of dialogue, choose the right point of view, and more.

This comprehensive book on the art of novel and short story writing is packed with advice and instruction from best-selling authors and writing experts like Nancy Kress, Elizabeth Sims, Hallie Ephron, N.M. Kelby, Heather Sellers, and Donald Maass, plus a foreword by James Scott Bell. You'll learn invaluable skills for mastering every area of the craft: Define and refine your characters. Make your plot and conflict high-energy and intense. Hone your story's point of view. Create a rich setting and backstory. Craft dialogue that rings true. Select the right words and descriptions throughout your story. Revise your story to perfection.

Throughout you'll find supplemental sections that cover special topics like getting started, beating writer's block, researching your work, and getting published. They'll help you integrate your skills into a balanced, productive, and fulfilling career.

Whether you're writing flash fiction, a short story, a novel, or an epic trilogy, you'll come away with the tools you need for strong and effective storytelling.


When I was a freshly scrubbed law school graduate I went to work for a big civil litigation firm in Beverly Hills. I wanted to be a trial lawyer and, having won my law school’s coveted trial advocacy award, I was raring to go. Thought I knew it all right out of the gate.

So the day came when one of the senior associates had a dinky little trial coming up and didn’t want to be bothered. He asked me if I wanted to take it. Take it? This was my big moment!

It was indeed a relatively small bench trial (one judge, no jury) but I treated it like the Trial of the Century. When I showed up at the courthouse the other attorney met me, shook my hand, and suggested in collegial tones that perhaps we could settle this thing here and now. He asked to see the new evidence I was going to present, which consisted of a few letters, and I showed him. He conferred with his client and came back and made a settlement offer that was way too low. The lawyer actually said he was now going to take this to trial. He obviously didn’t know I was the second coming of Clarence Darrow.

When the trial got under way there was a moment when the opposing lawyer stood up and addressed the judge. He told the judge I was withholding evidence from the court. “I have seen this evidence and Mr. Bell is trying to deceive you, Your Honor,” he said.

I was furious. I babbled incoherently. It threw me off my game. And even though I won this one-day trial, the amount gained for my client was less than what I thought it should be.

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