Grand themes and complex plots are just the beginning of a great piece of fiction. Mastering the nuts and bolts of grammar and prose mechanics is also an essential part of becoming a literary artist. This indispensable guide, created just for writers of fiction, will show you how to take your writing to the next level by exploring the finer points of language. Funny, readable, and wise, this book explores the tools of the fiction writer’s trade, from verb tenses to pronouns to commas and beyond. Filled with examples from the best-seller lists of today and yesterday, it will help you consider the hows and whys of language, and how mastery of them can be used to achieve clarity and grace of expression in your own work.
The rare stylebook you really want to read, cover to cover, for curiosity and pleasure. Shawver makes the basic rules of usage plain—Salvatore Scibonathe better to break them, when the need arises, with vigor and poise.Salvatore Scibona, author of “The End”
Anyone who loves language will love this book.Rachel Louise Snyder
Shawver is an inviting, openhearted writer. His book is in no way a fustian treatise. Instead, it gently and logically sets forth the possibilities available to someone constructing prose and weighs in on how a wordsmith might sort through the options to arrive at a formulation that supports a desired meaning and tone. He doesn’t come out and say it, but his goal is to lead writers on a path to a distinctive style informed by good taste. He proves such an engaging companion on the page that any serious reader should delight in what he has to say–and any aspiring writer would be foolish not to listen.Santa Fe New Mexican