Remember when I plugged one of Brooks & Warren’s books about what stories do & how they work, Understanding Fiction?
Last week I discovered they published a condensed version in 1960 called The Scope of Fiction. This is based on the 2nd (1959) edition of Understanding Fiction. The chapter list below has stars next to the ones included in The Scope of Fiction. Each chapter has about 2/3 of the stories given in that chapter in the bigger book. It includes the opening commentary for each chapter, which are all slightly different than in the 3rd edition.
1. Intentions & elements of fiction
* 2. What plot reveals
* 3. What character reveals
* 4. What theme reveals
5. The new fiction (metafiction)
6. Fiction & human experience (writers write about how they developed their stories)
7. Stories for reading (great stories without comments)
IMHO the only important stuff missing from The Scope of Fiction is chapters 1 & 6. Chapter 1 is more basic than 2-4, so you can probably do without that, too. Chapter 6 was in the 2nd but not the 1st edition, which had “Special Problems” and “Technical Problems & Principles in the Composition of Fiction” instead.