Friday, June 30, 2006

John Gardner, a Writer's Best Friend

If you're a writer and you care about your craft (beyond the simple question 'How do I get published?'), you need to read John Gardner.

A published and respected novelist himself, John Gardner was formost a teacher and nurturer of writers. He died, sadly, in a motorcycle accident at the age of 49. But he left the aspiring writers among us a wonderful legacy.

I've read two of his books--The Art of Fiction : Notes on Craft for Young Writers and On Becoming and Novelist--and recommend both for their generosity, their nurturing spirit and their BS-free approach to improving your craft. Beyond improving my writing, these books changed radically the way I think about writing and made me a more ambitious and--I hope--more thoughtful story teller.

You owe it to yourself to give him a serious read.

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