When you have an idea for a story, or even a fictional scene, your imagination pictures what is happening. But then you have to transfer the action from your imagination to the page, and the act of reading is very different to, and slower than, the way your imagination works. So the skill is to convey the imagined image to the reader quickly and vividly, which is exactly what Nancy Kress’s works to teach. She does it by showing how to write powerful beginnings, middles, and ends.
Beginnings need to make readers both feel and think, and therefore have to make an emotional promise and an intellectual promise. Middles have to carry forward the characters, actions and images that enact these promises, and endings have to bring all these to a climax and a satisfactory conclusion.
Nancy Kress teaches the writing skills necessary to achieve these objectives, using examples of successful published work to illustrate her points, in an exciting book.