web site hit counter Beyond the First Draft: The Art of Fiction - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Beyond the First Draft: The Art of Fiction

Availability: Ready to download

National Book Award winner John Casey is a masterful novelist who is also an inspiring and beloved teacher. In Beyond the First Draft he offers essential and original insights into the art of writing—and rewriting—fiction. Through anecdotes about other writers’ methods and habits (as well as his own) and close readings of literature from Aristotle to Zola, the essays in thi National Book Award winner John Casey is a masterful novelist who is also an inspiring and beloved teacher. In Beyond the First Draft he offers essential and original insights into the art of writing—and rewriting—fiction. Through anecdotes about other writers’ methods and habits (as well as his own) and close readings of literature from Aristotle to Zola, the essays in this collection offer “suggestions about things to do, things to think about when your writing has got you lost in the woods.” In “Dogma and Anti-dogma” Casey sets out the tried-and-true advice and then comments on when to apply it and when to ignore it. In “What's Funny” he considers the range of comedy from pratfalls to elegant wit. In “In Other Words” he discusses translations and the surprising effects that translating can have on one’s native language. In “Mentors” he pays tribute to those who have guided him and other writers. Throughout the fourteen essays there are notes on voice, point of view, structure, and other crucial elements. This book is an invaluable resource for aspiring writers and a revitalizing companion for seasoned ones.


Compare

National Book Award winner John Casey is a masterful novelist who is also an inspiring and beloved teacher. In Beyond the First Draft he offers essential and original insights into the art of writing—and rewriting—fiction. Through anecdotes about other writers’ methods and habits (as well as his own) and close readings of literature from Aristotle to Zola, the essays in thi National Book Award winner John Casey is a masterful novelist who is also an inspiring and beloved teacher. In Beyond the First Draft he offers essential and original insights into the art of writing—and rewriting—fiction. Through anecdotes about other writers’ methods and habits (as well as his own) and close readings of literature from Aristotle to Zola, the essays in this collection offer “suggestions about things to do, things to think about when your writing has got you lost in the woods.” In “Dogma and Anti-dogma” Casey sets out the tried-and-true advice and then comments on when to apply it and when to ignore it. In “What's Funny” he considers the range of comedy from pratfalls to elegant wit. In “In Other Words” he discusses translations and the surprising effects that translating can have on one’s native language. In “Mentors” he pays tribute to those who have guided him and other writers. Throughout the fourteen essays there are notes on voice, point of view, structure, and other crucial elements. This book is an invaluable resource for aspiring writers and a revitalizing companion for seasoned ones.

30 review for Beyond the First Draft: The Art of Fiction

  1. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    As a former student of John Casey's, I offered a testimonial/blurb for this terrific book, and here is what I said: John Casey is a classroom raconteur: erudite, passionate, fierce, and funny. How fortunate, then, that those who haven't had the opportunity to be his student can now be mentored by him via this collection of emotionally generous and vivid essays on the art of fiction. I tore through the selections, adding my marginal scribbles of surprise and delight. The volume is a treasure, and As a former student of John Casey's, I offered a testimonial/blurb for this terrific book, and here is what I said: John Casey is a classroom raconteur: erudite, passionate, fierce, and funny. How fortunate, then, that those who haven't had the opportunity to be his student can now be mentored by him via this collection of emotionally generous and vivid essays on the art of fiction. I tore through the selections, adding my marginal scribbles of surprise and delight. The volume is a treasure, and I will return to it often.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas

    Awesome anecdotal advice on how to write. Opening is great. He basically says no one can be taught to write, but they can be taught to rewrite.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sara Warner

    I’m really glad I stuck with it. Some of the essays seem highly academic and I was just not prepared for the weight of an English assignment from a professor. Casey, however, consistently draws from works that combine with his insight to inspire creative understanding and confidence in the reader. Excerpts from great works that I haven’t read provided examples of some of the exact challenges I’m facing in my writing. I gained good perspective on several aspects of writing fiction and came out of I’m really glad I stuck with it. Some of the essays seem highly academic and I was just not prepared for the weight of an English assignment from a professor. Casey, however, consistently draws from works that combine with his insight to inspire creative understanding and confidence in the reader. Excerpts from great works that I haven’t read provided examples of some of the exact challenges I’m facing in my writing. I gained good perspective on several aspects of writing fiction and came out of it inspired to read and write even more. Disclaimer: I skipped a couple essays that were just too much at the time. Keeping on my shelf for reference.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    Some good takeaways here for the intermediate wrtiter, but mostly things you've heard before. I like the idea of learning another art to focus on your writing. Also gaining sympathy for your protangasit by having him/her try to do something. Some good takeaways here for the intermediate wrtiter, but mostly things you've heard before. I like the idea of learning another art to focus on your writing. Also gaining sympathy for your protangasit by having him/her try to do something.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Bancroft

    A book that I had to put a second effort into finishing, but I think that this is a good book to dive in and out of for quotes and thought, rather than reading end to end. Some of my favourite quotes thoughts: "A tale occurs when someone leaves home, goes over the hills far and away, and comes back to tell the folks what amazing things are out there. A short story occurs when someone stays home and ponders local life until she can produce what is amazing about the things going on in her own cultu A book that I had to put a second effort into finishing, but I think that this is a good book to dive in and out of for quotes and thought, rather than reading end to end. Some of my favourite quotes thoughts: "A tale occurs when someone leaves home, goes over the hills far and away, and comes back to tell the folks what amazing things are out there. A short story occurs when someone stays home and ponders local life until she can produce what is amazing about the things going on in her own culture in her own words." "A person can't have a concept of justice until he or she recognises that there are other beings endowed with a capacity for feeling, desire, communication, and reason." "Any fiction writer who gives a public reading is often surprised when the audience laughs at a passage the write thought was just clear simple description." This has surprised me in the few times I have read my work aloud in public. "Each books is its own brand. An impossible business." True and reminds of the daunting task of trying write a novel.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tony Blenman

    This book is quite academic, very good for someone whose major was English Literature, but would not be useful to the beginning writer of fiction. It struck me as a review of the many classic novels the John Casey has perused. I did find some nuggets in the book though such as, "a novel is a long piece of prose that has something wrong with it." Basically, the process of re-writing is paramount. In addition, Casey makes one aware of content challenges, and the free will of characters. This book is quite academic, very good for someone whose major was English Literature, but would not be useful to the beginning writer of fiction. It struck me as a review of the many classic novels the John Casey has perused. I did find some nuggets in the book though such as, "a novel is a long piece of prose that has something wrong with it." Basically, the process of re-writing is paramount. In addition, Casey makes one aware of content challenges, and the free will of characters.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Carleigh Foutch

    The art of fiction is too not read this book. (Is that too harsh? Oh well.) This is another one I’ve had on my shelf for a while, but I couldn’t even get halfway through this one. I found myself coming to the end of Casey’s essays wondering what I was supposed to have learned about writing having read it. Different writers need different advice, but this one just wasn’t for me.

  8. 4 out of 5

    CB_Read

    Mostly anecdotes that would be a lot more impactful if you were either a student of Casey’s or familiar with his work — the first chapter on rules to write by (and which ones you should follow) and the last chapter on mentors were pleasant, though.

  9. 4 out of 5

    John

    The first few chapters were relevant to the craft of writing but the last four chapters felt more like they were good ideas for chapters but not really fleshed out enough. They spoiled some of the stronger stuff from the beginning of the book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    JLynne

    This would be an excellent book for the English major. For the everyday folk, not recommended.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Angel

    Not a great book for anyone looking for practical writing advice. The section abut dogma vs anti-dogma was the most helpful.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    This book was so high-brow I felt like my eyes were bleeding. I was hoping to be inspired but after skimming for twenty minutes and not really grasping a word, I surrendered.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dylan Perry

    I don't know if I was in the wrong mood for this book, but I got almost nothing out of this. I don't know if I was in the wrong mood for this book, but I got almost nothing out of this.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    If you read only one essay from this book, read "Meanwhile Back At The Ranch". It's an extraordinary examination of polyphony in prose, and it got me to say, "Oooh, that's interesting", aloud, to myself, several times. The rest of the book is quite good as well, though it does strike a very academic tenor. I like that, myself, but perhaps not as much as I like the conversational quality of, say, BIRD BY BIRD, or the personal quality of King's ON WRITING. But there is a place for this book, for s If you read only one essay from this book, read "Meanwhile Back At The Ranch". It's an extraordinary examination of polyphony in prose, and it got me to say, "Oooh, that's interesting", aloud, to myself, several times. The rest of the book is quite good as well, though it does strike a very academic tenor. I like that, myself, but perhaps not as much as I like the conversational quality of, say, BIRD BY BIRD, or the personal quality of King's ON WRITING. But there is a place for this book, for sure. In fact, if you are a playwright who has just written a draft of a novel, then now is the time to read this book. (There is a lot of theatrical reference in here, to things like AN ACTOR PREPARES and Aristotle's POETICS and Shakespeare, etc. So in that sense, I felt like it was written just for me.)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Author John Casey's "Beyond the First Draft: The Art of Fiction" is a collection of 14 essays about writing. Casey, who teaches at the University of Virginia and a National Book Award winner in 1989 for "Spartina," delves into the various aspects of writing fiction and a few other topics. I particularly enjoyed his essays on "What's Funny," "Childhood Reading," and "Mentors in General, Peter Taylor in Particular." The collection is a reflection of what he has seen, listened, and learned during h Author John Casey's "Beyond the First Draft: The Art of Fiction" is a collection of 14 essays about writing. Casey, who teaches at the University of Virginia and a National Book Award winner in 1989 for "Spartina," delves into the various aspects of writing fiction and a few other topics. I particularly enjoyed his essays on "What's Funny," "Childhood Reading," and "Mentors in General, Peter Taylor in Particular." The collection is a reflection of what he has seen, listened, and learned during his career in academia and as a writer. It is not a nuts-and-bolts book about editing although writers are sure to glean practical, and perhaps inspirational, value from its humorous, serious, and insightful pages.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Sternby

    This is a very good book. It's informative, easy to read, and humorous. I'd suggest it most strongly to those interested in writing fiction or just interested in John Casey and how he has become successful with his writing. This is a very good book. It's informative, easy to read, and humorous. I'd suggest it most strongly to those interested in writing fiction or just interested in John Casey and how he has become successful with his writing.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Clifford

    Very smart collection of essays on the craft of writing that showcase John Casey's erudition and wry humor. Very smart collection of essays on the craft of writing that showcase John Casey's erudition and wry humor.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Casey

    informal, utile, & engaging, Casey's 'how-to' proves an excellent resource for writers, would-be writers, and readers informal, utile, & engaging, Casey's 'how-to' proves an excellent resource for writers, would-be writers, and readers

  19. 5 out of 5

    False

    A book on writing by a writer. I've long admired his fiction and non-fiction. A worthy book to add to the canon. A book on writing by a writer. I've long admired his fiction and non-fiction. A worthy book to add to the canon.

  20. 4 out of 5

    T.

    A little too academic for me at this time, but had some good points.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Vanderpool

  22. 5 out of 5

    Abigail

  23. 4 out of 5

    Cassandra

  24. 5 out of 5

    Joy

  25. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alan

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mary Catelli

  29. 5 out of 5

    A.S.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sati Chock

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.