(Don’t) Stop Me If You’ve Heard This Before: and Other Essays on Writing Fiction

Trinity Univ. Jan. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9781595349767. pap. $19.95. LIT
Short-story writer Turchi (creative writing, Univ. of Houston) pens an insightful new essay collection, his third book on the craft of fiction (after A Muse & a Maze and Maps of the Imagination). Here Turchi goes beyond the basics to discuss more challenging facets of fiction writing that have arisen in his work with students. These include: power dynamics among characters, exposition, images and motifs, digression, narrative distance, characters that tell stories, and setting a story in motion. A working knowledge of these concepts is extremely beneficial, and Turchi mines a wealth of literary examples to make his points. Well-known short story writers such as Anton Chekhov, Andre Dubus, Ernest Hemingway, Edgar Allan Poe, Katherine Anne Porter, and J.D. Salinger are represented, as well as contemporary fiction authors Toni Morrison, Colson Whitehead, and (perhaps less familiar) Jai Chakrabarti, Olga Tokarczuk, and Yoko Ogawa. Turchi also has a knack for weaving engaging personal stories, mythology, plays, politics, and pop culture references into his essays.
VERDICT Academic libraries that support creative writing programs and those looking for new perspectives and resources on fiction writing and analysis will appreciate this volume.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing