Narrative Design (Paperback)

Working with Imagination, Craft, and Form

By Madison Smartt Bell

W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393320213, 392pp.

Publication Date: April 17, 2000

List Price: 18.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Focusing on the big picture as well as the crucial details, Bell examines twelve stories by both established writers (including Peter Taylor, Mary Gaitskill, and Carolyn Chute) and his own former students. A story's use of time, plot, character, and other elements of fiction are analyzed, and readers are challenged to see each story's flaws and strengths. Careful endnotes bring attention to the ways in which various writers use language. Bell urges writers to develop the habit of thinking about form and finding the form that best suits their subject matter and style. His direct and practical advice allows writers to find their own voice and imagination.