"Fiction – what is it? how does it work? and what is its place in the world, for the writer and for the reader? These are the questions that I want my students to explore with me not by merely reading and analyzing others' works of fiction, but by writing and coming to understand our own – finding ways to render the 'real' world of perception and memory and time, translating experience into words, capturing character in narrative, and heightening emotional and material awareness with techniques of point of view and voice. We write, and then we write some more, and it is by way of our writing that we learn about our work and our world and ourselves."In this unique and appealing approach to the craft of fiction writing, novelist Susan Taylor Chehak has reinvented the writing method and breathed new life into the writing instructional. Weaving together stories from life with down-to-earth instructions on how to write fiction, Chehak offers up the kind of writing advice that most authors take for granted but beginning writers cherish: searching for a workable theory of fiction, covering with depth and stunning clarity its basic technical elements, and offering insight and inspiration on the subject of revision. But she doesn't stop there. With heart and humor, comedy and compassion, she goes on to examine the place of the fiction writer in the world and of fiction in the fiction writer's life – including world-view and self-image, research and personal relationships, and braving the critical storm. A facile and entertaining storyteller, Chehak uses her own personal experiences to tease and tug at the stuff of life that is necessarily the fodder for fiction, and she fills these pages with her beguiling obsession with every aspect of the creative process as well as her contagious passion for the written word. For fiction readers as well as fiction writers, Don Quixote Meets the Mob finds in practicing the art of fiction deep and moving lessons for engaging in the art of life.