How Fiction Works
I finished a little book and i want to reread it and take notes. How Fiction Works, by James Wood, describes all the ways authors, and readers, create novels. I'll let his preface explain.
In this book I try to ask some of the essential questions about the art of fiction. Is realism real? How do we define a successful metaphor? What is a character? When do we recognize a brilliant use of detail in fiction? What is point of view, and how does it work? What is imaginative sympathy? Why does fiction move us?
He does a very good job, both of explaining the questions and answering them. I didn't know what free, indirect style was until this book. I loved the chapter on metaphor. I learned about register and characterization and gobs of other things. I have put this on my list to buy now so i can have my own copy to mark up and refer to. A warning, he does seem to give away a good many plots to various classic novels so the whole book should really have a big spoiler warning. a 6.