Creating Literary Stories: A Fiction Writer’s Guide by William H Coles is a non-fiction writing manual for those who are interested in improving their craft as authors. Whether it is flash fiction, short stories, or any length of novel, Coles outlines the foundational groundwork and then builds up through the process of a tale’s construction in order to assist a writer with the fundamentals of successful story writing, as well as explaining why each component is necessary. Spread over two sections (or books, both within the single volume) and seventeen individual chapters ranging from point of view, scene writing, and time to bringing a story to life and continuous revisions, Coles offers up a wealth of knowledge with insightful and direct instruction.
Creating Literary Stories is wonderful in its succinct composition and, as a prolific author himself, William H Coles delivers from a platform of extensive experience and education on the subject matter. I read more books per year than most might in five, wishing that some might have had even a fraction of the knowledge Coles provides in this guide. My favorite chapter was on dialogue, where the principles of advancing the story while making your characters sound authentic are at the forefront. The technicalities are just as important as the story itself. I’d recommend this book to anyone who has the desire to strengthen their skill set and home in on writing entertaining, memorable literary fiction that stands out in a sea of stories, whether you are new to the craft or have spent a lifetime filling the pages.