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How to write Fiction, especially the art of short story writing. A practical study of technique. [By Sharwin Cody.].

by FICTION.; Alpheus Sherwin CODY

  Print book

What can the first how-to book for fiction still tell us?   (2010-12-04)

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by ThadMcIlroy

In the fall of 1895, thousands of Brits were wracked by a painful and embarrassing affliction: rejection slips. Britain, it seems, was a nation of cracked Kiplings and ham-handed Hardys. "The number of persons who are now engaged in writing fiction," the Glasgow Heraldestimated, "[is] somewhere between fifteen and twenty thousand."

For them, the publication that year of Jude the Obscureand The Time Machinemeant far less than the appearance of a whole new kind of book: <a style="text-decoration: none; color: #0066cc; outline-style: none; outline-width: initial; outline-color: initial;" href="" target="_blank">How To Write Fiction</a>. Published under the pen name "An Old Hand," How To's anonymous author was a "well known novelist"—a man who, the Herald assured readers, might open "a new prospect for those would-be novelists who are annually rejected in their thousands." The introduction to the book promised to give readers the clarity of long experience—not some youth whose "work will appear like a picture in a stereopticon that is out of focus."

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