Writing Fiction, by Janet Burroway

It’s Book Lover’s Day! The perfect time to celebrate books we love like friends.

One of my best book friends lately has been Writing Fiction by Janet Burroway. Many writers will recognize this title as one they toted across campus to their creative writing class in college. I was introduced to this book more recently and have been assigning myself chapters and exercises ever since.

I love this book because of all the practical advice — story line and character development, point of view and more. But I especially love this book because I can’t ever read more than a few pages before my fingers start itching to type.

Writers block, cured!

Burroway’s secret sauce shines in the examples and quotes. She makes exciting points and reinforces with a real life application or poignant quote.

If you’re serious about fiction writing, you should buy this book — any edition will do. While you wait the 7-10 shipping/handling days for it to arrive, here are a few of my favorite quotes from the first chapter of Writing Fiction.

Forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won’t. Habit is persistence in practice. – Octavia Butler

The truth for a novelist isn’t the same as facts. When a writer is successful in using a story taken from experience, it is not told exactly the way it happened, but in the way that reveals, through all ones beliefs, hopes and fear, how the event should have happened. -Craig Nova

What’s called writer’s block is almost always ordinary fear. – Tom Wolfe

Writing is mind-farming. You have to plow, plant, weed and hope for growing weather. Why a seed turns into a plant is something you are never going to understand, and the only relevant response to it is gratitude. You may be proud, however, of having plowed. – Janet Burroway

Read it and get writing! Happy Book Lover’s Day!


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