Alone with All That Could Happen (Hardcover)

Rethinking Conventional Wisdom about the Craft of Fiction

By David Jauss, Bret Lott (Foreword by)

Writer's Digest Books, 9781582975382, 241pp.

Publication Date: July 1, 2008

List Price: 19.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


In a satisfying story or novel, all of the pieces seem to fit together so effortlessly, so seamlessly, that it's easy to find yourself wondering, "How on earth did the author do this?" The answer is simple: He sat alone at his desk, considered an array of options, and made smart, careful choices.

In Alone With All That Could Happen, award-winning author and respected creative writing professor David Jauss addresses overlooked or commonly misunderstood aspects of fiction writing, offering practical information and advice that will help you make smart creative and technical decisions about such topics as:

  • writing prose whose syntax and rhythm create a "soundtrack" for the story it tells
  • choosing the right point of view to create the appropriate degree of "distance" between your characters and the reader
  • writing valid and convincing epiphanies
  • harnessing the power of contradiction in the creative process

In one thought-provoking essay after another, Jauss sorts through unique fiction-writing conundrums, including how to create those exquisite intersections between truth and fabrication that make all great works of fiction so much more resonant and powerful than fiction that follows the generic "write what you know" approach that's so often preached.

About the Author

David Jauss is an award-winning fiction writer, poet, and essayist. He has been teaching creative writing from more than thirty years and speaks regularly at writing conferences like the annual AWP. He is currently a tenured professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He also teaches in the low-residency MFA in Writing Program at Vermont College. In addition, he's instructed at the University of Iowa; Southwest State University in Marshall, Minnesota; and Syracuse University.