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The Art of Fiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers explained The Art of Fiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers, review The Art of Fiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers, trailer The Art of Fiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers, box office The Art of Fiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers, analysis The Art of Fiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers, The Art of Fiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers 5ce7 In , Ayn Rand, Already The World Famous Author Of Such Bestselling Books As Atlas Shrugged And The Fountainhead, Gave A Private Series Of Extemporaneous Lectures In Her Own Living Room On The Art Of Fiction Tore Boeckmann And Leonard Peikoff For The First Time Now Bring Readers The Edited Transcript Of These Exciting Personal Statements The Art Of Fiction Offers Invaluable Lessons, In Which Rand Analyzes The Four Essential Elements Of Fiction Theme, Plot, Characterization, And Style She Demonstrates Her Ideas By Dissecting Her Best Known Works, As Well As Those Of Other Famous Authors, Such As Thomas Wolfe, Sinclair Lewis, And Victor Hugo An Historic Accomplishment, This Compendium Will Be A Unique And Fascinating Resource For Both Writers And Readers Of Fiction

  • Paperback
  • 192 pages
  • The Art of Fiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers
  • Ayn Rand
  • English
  • 02 November 2018
  • 9780452281547

About the Author: Ayn Rand

Alisa Rosenbaum was born in pre revolutionary St Petersburg to a prosperous Jewish family When the Bolsheviks requisitioned the pharmacy owned by her father, Fronz, the Rosenbaums fled to the Crimea Alisa returned to the city renamed Leningrad to attend the university, but in 1926 relatives who had already settled in America offered her the chance of joining them there With money from the sa



10 thoughts on “The Art of Fiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers

  1. says:

    It s really hard for me to give Ayn Rand 5 Stars because I really really dislike her For one thing, I think a lot of the things she says are absolutely off the wall crazy and that s being nice I still question whether or not most of her adoring fans have ever actually read her books All in all, I find her to be one of the most narrow and overrated authors of the twentieth century But I ll tell you why I enjoyed this book It challenged me And that s what a good book should do.I found so much to disagree with, that reading this book helped me to strengthen what it is I personally believe about writing and what I don t believe.Ayn Rand has a very black and white personality She s a very opinionated which is fine , but writing is such a subjective process that getting a glimpse into another authors creative process is a wonderful thingAnd that s what Ayn Rand does here she gives you a glimpse into her process for writing fiction I found pieces of it to be unique, valuable, and insightful if you can get over her This is the way everything should be done type personality.So if you love Ayn Rand, then read this book And if you hate Ayn Rand, then take it from me It s still worth reading.

  2. says:

    Teaching creative writing again this semester got me in the mood to do research for my students, so I read this quick one for them before we started our fiction unit I would not recommend it for anyone who has a weak stomach for Rand s philosophies and her ego, but if you re okay with both then you ll do fine That s not to say that you won t still get annoyed by her saying that all non objectivist art isn t really art, comparing her own writing to Hugo and Tolstoy, and dissing Kafka among many, many other writers But if you can swallow that then you ll be open to some interesting things she says about the nature of conflict, plot, concretization versus abstraction, which was perfect for my students who all seem to only write from the abstract universe , flashback, and symbolism.And the book s origin is pretty interesting Rand gave a series of salon style lectures in her home during the late 1950s and this book is a result of the transcription of tapes of those lectures The editor s foreword is an interesting description of piecing together the lectures and adding transitions to make for a single smoothly reading book And it works as such, for sure In fact, it s probably Rand s unbelievably strong personality that is able to make this work With a weaker person the variations in mood, tenor, and direction would be much obvious.The narrator, Marguerite Gavin, read this seven hour book in a perfectly snooty style of Ayn Rand voice or of what I imagine her voice to be It s a quick read, though beware of the audiobook format if you intend to take any notes for yourself I used my Audible app s bookmark feature when I was driving and couldn t easily take notes or pause the book which I know was unsafe, but it s in the past, so get over it.

  3. says:

    This book is based on private lectures given by novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand, author of Atlas Shrugged , The Fountainhead , Anthem , and We the Living It is an amazing guide to learning the principles of how to write fiction and dispels the arbitrary myths commonly taught about how the mind works when writing A fascinating read recommended to both readers and writers seeking a better understanding of the books they read or how to become a professional author.

  4. says:

    Terry Goodkind told me to buy and read this book.So I did.Now I recommend other writers do the same.Period.

  5. says:

    Ayn Rand is an excellent teacher.

  6. says:

    p.2 What is colloquially called inspiration namely, that you write without full knowledge of why you write as you do, yet it comes out well is actually the subconscious summing up of the premises and intentions you have set yourself p.3 To describe a sunrise, you must have stored in your mind clear ideas of what you mean by sunrise, what elements compose it, what kinds you have seen, what mood you want to project and why, and what kinds of words will project it you have to know what you are storing and what kind of answers you are seekingp.4 To master the art of writing you have to be conscious of why you are doing things but do not edit yourself while writing p.7 if you know where your inspiration really comes from, you will never run out of material A rational writer can stroke his subconscious just as one puts fuel in a machine p.10 in Atlas Shrugged, Dagny regarded language as a tool of honor, always to be used as if one were under oath an oath of allegiance to reality p.13 When you compose a story, you start with an abstraction, then find the concretes which add up to that abstraction For the reader, the process is reversed he first perceives the concretes you present and then adds them to the abstractions with which you started Concretize your abstractions start every chapter with the question what abstraction do I want to convey and what concretes will convey it Strong, independent and rational are abstractions In order to leave your reader with those abstractions, you have to provide concretes that will make him conclude This man is strong because he did X, independent because he defied Y, rational because he thought Z p.14 To objectify values is to make them real by presenting them in concrete form For instance, to say I think courage is good is not to objectify a value To present a man who acts bravely, is p.15 what is important is not the message a writer projects explicitly, but the values and views of life he projects implicitly By what he chooses to present, and by how he presents it, any author expresses his fundamental, metaphysical values his view of man s relationship to reality and of what man can and should seek in life p.19 If a writer s basic conviction is that man is a determined creature that he has no choice, but is the plaything of fate or his background or God that writer will be a Naturalist The Naturalistic school presents man as helpless The Romantic school of literature approaches life on the premise that man has free will, the capacity of choice If man has the capacity of choice, then he can plan the events of his life he can set himself purposes and achieve them If so, his life is not a series of accidents Events do not just happen to him he chooses what he makes happen and if accidents occur, his purpose is to overcome them He is the architect of his own life p.20 Aristotle Efficient causation means that an event is determined by an antecedent cause cause and effect Final causation means that the end result of a certain chain of causes determines those causes p.21 As a writer, you must follow the process of final causation you decide on the theme of your book your purpose , then select the events and the sentences that will concretize your theme The reader, by contrast, follows the process of efficient causation he goes step by step through your book being moved toward the abstraction you intended p.22 what you rationally want to read is a story about men s choices, right or wrong about their decisions and what they should have decided which means a free will, Romantic plot story To illustrate the achievement of a purpose, you have to show men overcoming obstacles need to dramatize purpose Since my purpose is to show that a man of creative independence will achieve his goal regardless of any opposition, a story in which there is no opposition would not dramatize my message I have to devise the hardest obstacles possible, and those of greatest significance to the hero if the hero has a distant cousin who disapproves of his career, that is not a great obstacle to overcome But if the woman he loves objects to his career and tempts him to give it up, and he risks losing her, that is real dramatization Then the hero is in the middle of a clash of two values and has to choose the right one The struggle the story involves, the better the plot p.23 The essence of plot structure is struggle therefore, conflict therefore, climax For the purpose of dramatizing a man s struggle and choice, a conflict within his own mind, which is then expressed and resolved in action, is one of the best devises p.26 If you want to hold your readers, give them something to wonder about p.36 If two persons are in love, that is not a conflict you have to make their love clash with some serious value of theirs p.46 The climax is that stage at which the worst consequences of the plot theme conflict come into the open and the characters have to make their final choice p.48 you have to know your climax in dramatized terms before you start to outline the steps by which to arrive there It has been said that Broadway is full of first acts Many people can come up with an intriguing first act but do not know what to do with the play thereafter By contrast, a good dramatist starts with the third act He does not necessarily write the third act, or the climax, first but he keeps it in mind p.53 Train your mind to concretize every abstraction love, hate, fear, anger, independence or dependence, selfishness or unselfishness p.57 Best stories are those which can be told in one sentence p.59 Characterization is the presentation of motives We understand a person if we understand what makes him act the way he does p.60 to project a convincing character, you need to have an idea of the basic premises or motives which move his actions and by means of these actions, the reader will discover what is at the root of the character p.146 Dramatization serves as the emphasis of your story The key events should be dramatized The less important material, such as transitions, can be narrated p.148 Exposition is the communication of knowledge which the reader requires in order to understand a scene Do not let it show Make the exposition part of some statement which has a different point a point necessary for the progress of the scene p.154 Metaphor The snow was as white as sugar The introduction of another concrete with the same attribute makes the two together give a clear sensuous image it isolates the attribute by making the reader s mind form an abstraction The reader s visualization of the whiteness of snow and the whiteness of sugar makes that whiteness stand out in his mind as if he had seen it When you select a comparison, you must consider not only the exact attribute you want to feature, but also the connotations that will be raised in the reader s mind p.176 I read a novel for the purpose of seeing the kind of people I would want to see in real life and living through the kind of experience I would want to live through.

  7. says:

    This is a collection of Ayn Rand s informal lectures to an audience back in 1958 conducted in her own living room Given the extemporaneous I love typing that nature of her lectures, this has been edited for this publication and fit into 11 chapters on the art of writing fiction.I find some of the chapters particularly helpful and insightful In Theme and Plot , she stressed the importance of a central theme that had to be tied to a plot Events included in a book that has no purpose and do not advance the plot in any way are pure fluff What matters is choice, and how the main characters in your book make them and how it clashes with their values She then went on to give examples from her own novels and other famous books such as Victor Hugo s Les Mis rables.Some chapters were a miss for me the chapter on Writing and Subconscious asked you to train your subconscious into absorbing as many abstracts as possible so that when you begin writing, the words will flow from them I find this slightly ridiculous and perpetuates the myth that writing is a purely intuitive process and give authors the excuses not to finish their books I am looking at you, George Overall though, I find Ayn Rand s lectures bordered on arrogance and condescension She was a proponent of the Romanticism school over the Naturalism where everything needs to be dramatized She opined that in order to have a great characterization and plot, the characters need to be in great turmoil and their internal values have to be constantly challenged She also scoffed at various forms of literature such as fantasy, which can only be considered rational if they have some abstract purpose applicable to reality In her own words, Fantasy for the sake of fantasy is neither valid or interesting I beg to differ Fantasy may sometimes be an abstraction of real world events, but they need not be in order to make good literature She also did not touch on worldbuilding a crucial aspect of fantasy novels By the end of this book, I was shaking my head a lot and disagreeing and with her advice Read this for the little nuggets of wisdom interspersed throughout the book, but I would not recommend this book over others.

  8. says:

    Rand offers ample reason to dislike her She claimed to be the best author alive at the time , claims to be better that Victor Hugo Dostoyevsky, and says this claim is not a subjective claim but is objectively based Her confidence exudes vanity, her modesty nonexistent, and her book was fantastic The purpose of writing is to objectify values In this sense, every writer is a moral philosopher p23 The struggle a story involves, the better the plot p33 Make it as hard as possible for the characters, and tie the lesser characters tragedies to the main line of events p49Do not substitute form for content.If writing doesn t apply to human choice, it s not worth writing or reading A good style is one that conveys the most with the greatest economy of words p162 I read a novel for the purpose of seeing the kind of people I would want to see in real life and living through the kind of experience I would want to live through p195Oddly, she hates obscenities and recommends they never be used.

  9. says:

    One of the two most insightful books ever written for readers and writers of fiction The second is The Romantic Manifesto, also by Ayn Rand.

  10. says:

    Analogous to the Art Of NonFiction, the Art Of Fiction, by Ayn Rand details the core concepts of Rand s writing repertoire, crystallized for all to see.In the first half of the book Rand cogently creates very practical, and yet methodical approach thatnarrows down on importance of the subconscious in writing, theme, plot and its development, climax, and characterization The latter half of the book focuses on style from a variety of angles, all from her objectivist point of view.Throughout the book Rand speaks at length of the two types of writing that exist in her eyes naturalist writing vs romanticist writing.Naturalistic style catalogues things, which often are inconsequential On the other hand, romanticist writing employs carefully selected concrete words in specificity to capture the essentials, what really matters, of a scene.Rand juxtaposes the two, offering samples that precisely describe why in her mind one is superior to the other Moreover, after showing the reader the pros and cons of each style, Rand speaks at length about how to maximize writing while not overstating words.Imperative as well is the importance of avoiding floating abstractions, choosing instead to gravitate towards making writing concrete, specific She also covers a few issues with style, for instance, narrative vs dramatization, which was quite insightful Exposition is also covered, as well as flashbacks, transitions, and other notable points.On the importance of style, Rand notes What constitutes the heart of any style is the clarity of the thoughts a writer expresses plus the kind of thoughts he choose to express 1 Further A good style is one that conveys the most with the greatest economy of words In a textbook, the ideal is to communicate one line of thought or a set of facts as clearly as possible For a literary style, much is necessary A great literary style is one that combines five or different meanings in one clear sentence I do not mean ambiguity but the communication of different issues 2 Bold Emphasis Added More importantly, however, Rand elucidates on the importance of precision in writing I never waste a sentence on saying John Smith meets James Brown That is too easy it is playing the piano with one finger Say much , just as clearly, say it in chords, with a whole orchestration That is good style 3 Anyone who has ever read any of Rand s book knows that Rand s novels function on multiple tiers, employing various layers of insights, just like a building features various floors that carry out different functions For instance, analyzing one of her passage from Atlas Shrugged, she points out how one passage had four purposes a literary one, a connotative one, a symbolic level, and an emotional level The seamlessness of how Rand fuses multiple tiers of purpose is one of the many reasons Rand writing will always remain in the upper caste of the field discipline.Although not originally created to be a book, and was instead drawn from Rand s prior lectures, this book impeccably allows readers to view writing through her unique eyes Likewise, the way in which Rand breaks down the purpose of every single thing she does is a breath of fresh air The tenets within this book will make readers ruminate upon a much precise type of writing, one that functions on a deeper level Such profound depth and meaning is usually missing from most modern fiction books, which is a shame since much could be achieved if people employed different skills.The Art Of Nonfiction is a terrific read in its totality The book is a veritable treasure trove of insights Couple this book with such classics such as The Element Of Style by William Strunk Jr and E.B White, gather a bit of inspiration with The War Of Art by Steven Pressfield, and sprinkle a bit of The Art Of Description by Mark Doty, and one has the veritable seeds for success in writing.___________________________________________________________Footnotes 1 Ayn Rand, The Art Of Fiction, p 142 2 Ibid., 143 3 Ibid., 143.

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