Got an extra Audible credit you want to use? Looking to take a creative writing class? Then I recommend Writing Great Fiction: Storytelling Tips and Techniques. This is part of The Great Courses Series on Audible. James Hynes, a writing professor and novelist, narrates this 24 lecture course on writing novels and short stories.
I enjoyed these talks about writing fiction. Hynes offers theories behind character, plot, setting and other fiction elements and uses examples from novels, both contemporary and classic. He also uses personal experience and lessons from his on writing live.
If you are already knowledgeable about fiction writing techniques, you may not get as much out of these talks as a beginner, but you are bound to learn something new. From the examples, I added several novels to my to-read list. He also convinced me to try and read some of those classics I swore I’d never go near, like Moby Dick or Lord Jim. We’ll see.
Also, He also has developed writing exercises at the end of each chapter, some of which I’ve done and enjoyed. I managed to find a PDF of these lectures which are a companion to The Great Courses audio. You can Google and download it. It’s not a word-for-word transcript, but it does include all the concepts, examples and exercies.
Hynes seems like a pleasant and genuine person, being honest about his own ups and downs with writing fiction. I plan to read some of his novels in the future. I recommend listening to the lectures without taking notes, then reviewing the PDF and highlighting the basic points of his lectures.
Highly recommended. And it looks like Hynes is releasing a new novel soon called Sparrow. It’s available for pre-order. I’ll add that to my list.
Photo by Vlad Chețan: https://www.pexels.com/photo/abstract-painting-of-nature-2892606/