Common Errors

Common Errors

From The Art of Fiction

John Gardner


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A Vintage Shorts selection.

In this chapter from his classic instructive handbook, The Art of Fiction, John Gardner illustrates the principles and techniques of good writing. Poor diction, confusing clauses, undue sentimentality and mannerism—these are pitfalls that plague experienced writers as well as those new to the craft. Exemplified with detailed excerpts from classic works of literature, Gardner explores how to achieve vivid, sensuous prose and how to avoid clumsy writing. All those who aspire to learn how to master the craft of fiction will be wise to begin with Gardner’s invaluable advice.

An ebook short.


John Gardner:
John Gardner was accorded wide praise for his works of imagination, of criticism, and of scholarship.  He was born in 1933 in Batavia, New York.  Among the universities at which he taught are Oberlin, San Francisco State, Northwestern, Southern Illinois, Bennington and SUNY-Binghamton. The Art of Fiction was completed before his death in 1982.