Write Like the Masters: Emulating the Best of Hemingway, Faulkner, Salinger, and Others
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Want To Find Your Voice? Learn from the Best.
Time and time again you've been told to find your own unique writing style, as if it were as simple as pulling it out of thin air. But finding your voice isn't easy, so where better to look than to the greatest writers of our time?
Write Like the Masters analyzes the writing styles of twenty-one great novelists, including Charles Dickens, Edith Wharton, Franz Kafka, Flannery O'Connor, and Ray Bradbury. This fascinating and insightful guide shows you how to imitate the masters of literature and, in the process, learn advanced writing secrets to fire up your own work.
- Herman Melville's secrets for creating characters as memorable as Captain Ahab
- How to master point of view with techniques from Fyodor Dostoevesky
- Ways to pick up the pace by keeping your sentences lean like Ernest Hemingway
- The importance of sensual details from James Bond creator Ian Fleming
- How to add suspense to your story by following the lead of the master of horror, Stephen King
Whether you're working on a unique voice for your next novel or you're a composition student toying with different styles, this guide will help you gain insight into the work of the masters through the rhetorical technique of imitation. Filled with practical, easy-to-apply advice, Write Like the Masters is your key to understanding and using the proven techniques of history's greatest authors.
pines for her. “He did not know how he was to get through the hours that must pass before his eyes rested on her again.”8 Then she snubs him and they part with Philip in despair. These dramatic scenes are followed immediately by an extended section in which Philip mulls over the whole affair and feels lonely.Then, like the beat of a heart, the end of chapter fifty-nine plunges us once again into a dramatic scene in which Mildred humiliates Philip. Clearly the alternation between fast and slow
1961:37. 80 Write Like the Masters “In one way and another I have used in my writings whatever has happened to me in the course of my life.…Fact and fiction are so intermingled in my work that now, looking back on it, I can hardly distinguish one from the other. It would not interest me to record the facts, even if I could remember them, of which I have already made a better use.”14 In effect he is admitting that his works are a psychological portrait of himself. All writers base various
find his freewheeling and unstructured approach highly satisfying. Plotting will become secondary and writing first drafts will become easier. How L aw ren c e Created Excitement I n Th e S i mpl est Of Scenes Writing about relationships instead of crafting big action scenes or gun battles, Lawrence nevertheless manages to create a tremendous deal of excitement. In Sons and Lovers he does this by introducing male-female flirtation into scenes where it might not be expected. For example, in
literature, the more effectively you will be able to incorporate them appropriately. As a final note, beginning writers, indeed even experienced hands at the use of symbolism, might profit from obtaining a dictionary of symbolism or from reading the works of writers such as Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung. Particularly helpful and accessible for the layman is Jung’s Man and His Symbols (1964) and Maurice Beebe’s Literary Symbolism: An Introduction to the Interpretation of Literature (1960).
was a knock on the door and 5. Fleming 1954:7. Write Like Ian Fleming 169 the head clerk put a china eggshell, enclosed in gold filigree, in front of each of them and went out. Bond sipped his coffee and put it down. It was good, but thick with grains.”6 The italicized passages contain the kind of sensuous detail that Fleming is famous for. Little touches like this add a realistic feel to every scene—but this is more than simple realism in the style of Zola or Sinclair Lewis, writers who