Picture of The Art of Fiction

The Art of Fiction

By Ayn Rand


Edited by Tore Boeckmann
Introduction by Leonard Peikoff
Subtitle: A Guide for Writers and Readers

In 1958 Ayn Rand gave a series of extemporaneous lectures, to a handful of people in her living room, on the nature of fiction. This book is the edited transcript of those sessions.

Miss Rand presents her distinctively enlightening views, as she explains the four essential elements of fiction: plot, theme, characterization and style.

The book offers Ayn Rand's incisive analysis of her own works as well as those of other famous authors, such as Victor Hugo, Sinclair Lewis and Thomas Wolfe. This is an invaluable work for any reader or writer of fiction.

Table of Contents:

Introduction by Leonard Peikoff
Editor’s Preface
1. Writing and the Subconscious
2. Literature as an Art Form
3. Theme and Plot
4. The Plot-Theme
5. The Climax
6. How to Develop a Plot Ability
- Concretize Your Abstractions
- Think in Terms of Conflict
- Tap Your Emotions
7. Characterization
8. Style I: Depictions of Love
- From Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
- From Notre-Dame de Paris by Victor Hugo
- From Of Time and the River by Thomas Wolfe
- From Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis
- From Star Money by Kathleen Winsor
- From By Love Possessed by James Gould Cozzens
9. Style II: Description of Nature and of New York
- From Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
- From Seven Gothic Tales by Isak Dinesen
- From The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
- From Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
- From One Lonely Night by Mickey Spillane
- From The Web and the Rock by Thomas Wolfe
- Naturalistic Description
- Analysis of "A Letter on Style" by Sinclair Lewis
10. Particular Issues of Style
- Narrative versus Dramatization
- Exposition
- Flashbacks
- Transitions
- Metaphors
- Descriptions
- Dialogue
- Slang
- Obscenities
- Foreign Words
- Journalistic References
11. Special Forms of Literature
- Humor
- Fantasy
- Symbolism
- Tragedy and the Projection of Negatives

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