Janet Burroway was educated in Phoenix. In , her first play, Garden Party, was produced at Barnard College. Personal life[ edit ] Burroway married Belgian theatre director Walter Eysselinck and lived in Belgium for two years where she worked as a costume designer. After Eysselinck took a theatre job in Sussex, the family moved to England, where Burroway had their second child in
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The contemporary short stories at the end of each chapter were really good, especially starting from Chapter 4 with "Mule Killers" by Lydia Peelle. The main focus of the book is literary fiction and is admittedly biased against genre fiction with a convincing reason: "whereas writing literary fiction can teach you how to write good genre fiction, writing Excellent, with some quibbles-- Used by creative writing programs all over the U.
The main focus of the book is literary fiction and is admittedly biased against genre fiction with a convincing reason: "whereas writing literary fiction can teach you how to write good genre fiction, writing genre fiction does not teach you how to write good literary fiction.
There are limitations to the book, however. Some guidance on how those stories used the techniques discussed could have been beneficial. There are other shortcomings. In certain parts, the author also asks questions to the reader without providing answers, which is a shame because feedback is one of the most important factors in learning. The section on "psychic distance" was not entirely clear, especially the examples she gives to illustrate using abstract nouns and generic details increases a sense of distance while using concrete nouns and specific details increases intimacy.
Another misguiding thing about the book is when it covers the "golden" rule of contemporary fiction: show and tell. She does, however, cover what makes good telling in a wholly different chapter under a different name: summary. For example, she says filtering should be avoided. But a lot of stories--even those included in the book--use filtering at some point. When is it okay to use any technique she cautions us against?
Should we always avoid them? But why are the stories she herself selected use them? So some explanation on that aspect of each technique would have been illuminating.
All in all, this is a really good book on writing, and I think everyone who is serious about the craft should read it.
Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft