This analysis of the processes of fiction writing refers essentially to 19th and early 20th century authors for illustration and illumination as it sets forth with intelligence and clarity the ""principles of fiction"" (a principle is characterized as way of meeting one of another technical demand). The authors move from conception (where susceptibility is all) to beginnings (in the short story the ""seeds of finality"" must already be sown). On to the problems of style (The great style demands that the writer have a passion for the exact rightness of words and an amplitude of vision), speech, (""What characters do to each other"" -- Elizabeth Bowen); characterization from the classic view (""The determination of incident"" -- Henry James); point of view, background, pace, setting, milieu; narrative style-- time and pace; plot and story (applying E.M. Forster's distinction between the two); organic form and final meaning. Examples of technique that are unsuccessful are included with the more effective methods. Exercises and writing suggestions and a bibliography conclude a took which, while recognizing them, does not apply itself to or draw from the most advanced currents in- contemporary fiction.