The Jane Austen Writers' Club: Inspiration and Advice from the World's Best-Loved Novelist

Readers admire the work of Jane Austen for many reasons. Some are drawn to her unforgettable characters and her mastery of wit, language and dialogue. Others seek out her keen observations, including her grasp of relationships, the resonance of her themes and the various twists and turns of her plots. Many "Janeites" who are also writers turn to Austen to learn craft. In The Jane Austen Writers' Club, Rebecca Smith--the "five-times-great-niece" of Jane Austen, as well as a novelist and a former writer-in-residence at the Jane Austen House Museum--dissects the work of her beloved aunt in order to inspire writers and teach them what makes Austen's work so universally appealing.

Smith (Jane Austen's Guide to Modern Life's Dilemmas) explores, in depth, techniques and devices found in Austen's fiction, pairing them with letters of advice Austen wrote to nieces and nephews bitten by the writing bug, as well as correspondence she wrote to others. Topics include setting, point-of-view and building suspense, along with overcoming discouragement and maintaining discipline. By outlining these facets--and highlighting excerpts and examples of Austen's own words, with spin-off writing exercises--Smith demonstrates how and why the Pride and Prejudice author chose to fashion her timeless stories in the manner she did. This method of deconstruction is a great teaching tool, providing intimate insights into Austen's life and work, which will hold great appeal to writers seeking to dig deeper and improve their own craft. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

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