“As the beginning writer starts racking up the writing hours, and thus gradually becomes the intermediate or advanced writer, she notices that the success of her work often hinges on finding answers to seemingly minor questions: How should I describe the exterior of a house? Does it work better to say ‘Fiat Spider’ or just a ‘sports car’? How much of a softball game can I show readers without boring them?”
In Danger on the Page: A Fiction Writer’s Guide to Sex, Violence, Dead Narrators, and Other Challenges, Brian Shawver attempts to navigate the intermediate fiction writer through these questions, covering topics such as sex scenes, physical character descriptions, using brand names in fiction and many others.
The ultimate goal? To embrace these everyday “technical difficulties, since they make up the bulk of a fiction writer’s work.”
The book is littered with examples from both literary and commercial fiction to help writers understand how established writers tackle these dilemmas. Shawver is no stranger to helping fiction writers: He’s a professor of English at Park University and the author of The Language of Fiction: A Writer’s Stylebook.
If you’re looking for less of an introduction to fiction writing and more nitty-gritty know-how, Danger on the Page may be well worth a read.