John Gardner Writing Styles in On Becoming a Novelist

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John Gardner packs into On Becoming a Novelist the wisdom and experience aimed at keeping the young would-be novelist inspired to stay on his or her chosen path. As he says in the final paragraph, the true novelist does not quit and in the end reaps spiritual benefits that no non-novelist can understand. His purpose is to gather together the most pressing questions that he has encountered in years of teaching and lay fears to rest. He consistently describes his own experiences of writing and teaching about writing, but backs off from claiming any element might be typical of all writers. He settles for usefulness—and provides plenty.

Gardner is no Pollyanna. He admits that there are people who cannot learn to write fiction that any publishing house would want to print. He admits that one in ten thousand novelists earn enough by writing to survive on...

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This section contains 956 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the On Becoming a Novelist Study Guide
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