The Art of Fiction

Read Ayn Rand’s The Art of Fiction yesterday. To say I’m disappointed is really a misnomer. I’m pissed off. If the book was just bad, without any deeper discussion about writing techniques, I’d be fine. To be fair, there are one or two useful things in there. But to spend almost two hundred pages to say “I’m the best stylist of my generation” and “The best example of what I’m discussing is this scene from my novel Atlas Shrugged…” and “Objectivism is YAY! Besides hating those damn commies (*spit*) we even write with plot! PLOT! And our characters? They have so many layers! Just like an onion! Not only one or two shallow motivations, like the characters in those stupid Naturalist novels. Like the ones from Tolstoy and Joyce” maybe it was just a little bit beyond abusive. Just a little.


3 thoughts on “The Art of Fiction

  1. Your rant caught my eye. Love it. I happen to be reading “Atlas Shrugged” just now, as a sort of duty (To increase my knowledge, etc.). I read it once about a hundred years ago when I was in high school. The good stuff is immersed in such a sea of verbiage that I find myself skipping over thousands of words at a time. Ms Rand never uses a hundred words when she can say the same thing in ten thousand words. Thanks to you, I will never pick up her “Art of Fiction”.

  2. So very true what EJ Lavoie said about “Atlas Shrugged”. Yes, thank you, Jacques. I’d hate to read yet another “How to Write” book that should really be titled “It’s All About Me”.

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