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Reviews of Building Fiction


“Short story writer and novelist Kercheval compares writing fiction to designing a house. All the pieces must come together and form a whole structure to achieve a desired effect. Kerchevals first nine chapters cover basics such as finding ideas, beginning a story, characterization, and revision. The final three chapters talk about specific forms like the novel, short story, and experimental writing. Each chapter ends with a set of exercises to help students understand and practice the concepts explained. A well-written and useful work with pertinent examples from Kercheval's own writing and other popular fiction as well as classic authors such as Hemingway and Austen.”
Library Journal


“Jesse Lee Kercheval does what every good teacher wishes she could do: explains the basic craft issues in an intelligent, illuminating, exciting way. Full of fun anecdotes, helpful examples and imaginative exercises, Building Fiction ultimately used craft to talk about process, to explore how writers do what they do.

Debra Spark, Colby College


“Each chapter is filled with perceptive advice and useful examples, along with exercises that are rigorous, specific, and excellent. Building Fiction will open the eyes of beginning writer, and deepen the vision of experienced ones.
Erin McGraw, Ohio State University


“Kercheval’s step-by-step approach to structure of the short story and novel always keeps in mind beginning and improving writers. Creative writing instructors at all levels will find Building Fiction very useful.”
Michael Collier, Director, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference