Jon Franklin certainly has a way of churning out a good story. He raised many questions about the nature of the short-story and nonfiction itself, many of which directly applied to my struggles as an aspiring writer. Although he himself describes his sections on structure as "mechanistic," his narrative of the "Nature of Art and Artists" compounded his points in a manner that both illustrated the trials and tribulations of your average writer in addition to weaving a story that explicitly restated his arguments throughout the book.
I am fascinated in the idea of the complication. Franklin's focus on this subtle aspect that many refuse to acknowledge clarified to me what was important in distinguishing a character. Instead of the result, the moment of change gives insight into what makes that person tick, so to speak. The dichotomy of life and death in "Mrs. Kelly's Monster" was a wonderful example of this, where Franklin both narrates Mrs. Kelly's thought processes and their relation to her condition as well as Dr. Ducker's resolve to live on regardless of Mrs. Kelly's tragic death.
Franklin's unabashed focus on technical details also is refreshing. It blends the worlds of creativity and function in a way that is necessary to tell the story without it becoming dry or succumbing to blind pathos. All in all, it was nice to read on the craft as well as the human aspect of storytelling. Franklin managed to turn a "how-to" book into an enjoyable narrative.