Currently, I’m working on a new type of craft guide to fiction writing grounded primarily in narrative theory and cognitive science but also derived from a wide range of other fields—from linguistics and semiotics all the way to evolutionary psychology and narrative craft. The goal is to remove as much of the metaphor and abstraction from the teaching of fiction writing and to develop a more concrete, skills-based approach. I’ll be shopping the completed manuscript tentatively titled The Mechanics of Fiction Writing this spring. In the meantime, I’m including a few chapters here for preview to give writers and readers a sense of the approach. I hope you’ll find these excerpts useful. Feel free to contact me with questions about the book.
What is a Story? (Yet Another Example of the Porousness of Borders)
Explores the difficulty of defining a story and why we would even bother do do such a thing in the first place. Includes Rowe's definition of a story, conceived with the goal of giving the writer a concrete target to aim at. What are the necessary elements to make your story a story?
An in-depth look at how writers manage the portrayal of the passage of time in their stories. This attempts to answer all of your questions on the ubiquitous "show don't tell" edict and give you reliable tools for thinking about "scene versus summary."