The Craft of Fiction

The Craft of Fiction contains the distilled wisdom and unique insights of a prolific author and talented English professor—that teaches the craft and craftsmanship of writing fiction. Adopted by many colleges and universities, it is a succinct, seminal work.

Written in a down-to-earth, candid style, William C. Knott provides pragmatic advice, insights, and encouragement for the aspiring writer. The book consists of three parts. In the first part, “The World of Fiction,” he tells what goes on behind editorial doors, about writing for money, what can be expected from the trade of writing. The author describes what fiction is and discusses the monomania of writing—the bondage, the compulsion of writing.

In the second part, “Nuts and Bolts,” the author gets into the specifics of creating fiction—discussing character and plot, transitions, dialogue, theme, etc., each with pertinent examples. In the last part, “The Act of Writing,” he sits the writer down and takes him into the actual writing of his short story or novel—outlining, openings, writing, rewriting, and getting published.

The Craft of Fiction is designed to be used either as a supplementary text or as a class-wide adoption text. It is also ideal for use by a single student on a contract basis—for upon completion of the book—the student will have tangible work to submit either to a professor or publisher. It has been used successfully in both junior and four-year colleges.

About the Fourth Edition

Published in 2012, the fourth edition is provided in electronic book format. Electronic books have no fixed page numbers. However, for the purposes of the index, the page numbers listed correspond to hypertext links that are located at the same locations of the original text. (You can click on an index page link and be taken to that portion of the text.) Books cited that are available in Project Gutenberg have hypertext links. Additionally, 20 color photographs have been added to the book.


William C. Knott is the author of the best book I've found on writing fiction, The Craft of Fiction.

Over the years I read and reread Knott's book and used it as a guide for my writings over the years. The thing about Knott's book is that he takes you step by step through the process of composing a short story or a full novel. He uses his experiences as a writer of Western novels and young adult fiction and with subtly and understanding helps you create three dimensional characters, work with dialogue, and description to weave your first story or novel. But he also goes beyond just helping you write your book, he also uses his knowledge of the business of book publishing to give you a chance of actually getting you work published.

For me, though I've never met the man, nor do I expect to, I consider William C. Knott my mentor and I know I wouldn't have been able to create the types of works I've created without his influence.

Obviously, I highly recommend his book if you're a beginning writer....Hell, even if you consider yourself a pro I recommend The Craft of Fiction.

Eric Morse, August 23, 2005

The Craft of Fiction is available on the Apple iBookstore (United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, United Kingdom), Barnes & Noble, and Google (United States) as an ePub book, and on Amazon as a paperback.

ISBN: 978-1-935842-27-9 (ePub)

The Craft of Fiction is available on Amazon as a Kindle book.

ISBN: 978-1-935842-28-6 (Kindle) (United States) Amazon ASIN B007PS37U0