K.J. Simmill


With more people than ever being able to embrace their inner author, learning resources, information, and guidelines are something in high demand for those wishing to hone their craft. There is a lot to understand, from the definitions of keywords to the all-important narrative and plot design. Creating Literary Stories: A Fiction Writer’s Guide by William H. Coles aims to introduce topics from conception to execution.

As an author myself, I always feel the need to be constantly improving, whether that is taking the latest course, or reading a plethora of books on the topic. When I saw William H. Coles’ Creating Literary Stories: A Fiction Writer’s Guide, I was eager to give it a read. I was surprised to find a holistic approach to writing within such a short book. This book will provide a strong foundation for anyone seeking to emerge onto the writing scene, and also acts as a good reminder to seasoned authors of the basics and important aspects of character, narrative, and writing style. It focuses more on definition, explanation, and foundations of what can and should be used and what to avoid. For instance, the dialogue section covers how and why dialogue is used. It gives points to be considered, as well as providing examples and tips which prove useful for consideration and skill building. The end of chapter summary is a useful tool to condense the material in the chapter into its main points.

All in all, I enjoyed reading Creating Literary Stories. It is suitable more for those needing an understanding of terminology and how things are used. It is a good resource for people new to the field of writing as it cuts through the jargon and offers helpful tips. A person with writing experience under their belt already will find this lays out things they should already have a grasp on; however, refreshing your knowledge never hurts and often leads to the discovery of little gems forgotten or overlooked. This book contains information writers should be aware of, and the easy to digest segments make it easy to pick up, put down, and absorb what is being discussed.