“There are no particularly useful preliminary instructions other than to keep at it until it feels right. And this is where I think Ron Carlson Writes a Story has a function—a function that goes some distance towards redeeming an otherwise undistinguished genre. My favorite parts of the book all concerned Carlson’s descriptions of how hard it is to focus on the story and keep working, and how essential this patience is to creating anything of value. Even people who feel like part of an artistic community end up, finally, alone at their desks, and it helps to have the voice of experience in your mind when you want to get up and chase the nearest comforting distraction. Carlson is a good friend in this respect, and worth listening to. The odd irony of craft books, though, is that in the end they are themselves the kind of distraction that they warn against—for all parties involved. Authors write them when they should be focusing on their creative work, and aspiring writers read them when they should probably be doing the same.”—Akshay Ahuja, Bookslut
Ron Carlson is the author of eight books of fiction, including Five Skies, published in May 2007. He directs the graduate program in fiction at the University of California, Irvine.