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Table of Contents
To Instructors: About This Book.
To Students: About the Workshop.
1. Whatever Works: The Writing Process.
The Critic: A Caution.
Choosing a Subject.
A Word About Theme.
American History, Judith Ortiz Cofer.
2. The Tower and the Net: Story Form, Plot, and Structure.
Conflict, Crisis, and Resolution.
Connection and Disconnection.
Story Form as a Check Mark.
Story and Plot.
The Short Story and the Novel.
Reading as Writers.
How Far She Went, Mary Hood.
Silver Water, Amy Bloom.
Happy Endings, Margaret Atwood.
Girl, Jamaica Kincaid.
No One's a Mystery, Elizabeth Tallent.
20/20, Linda Brewer.
3. Seeing is Believing: Showing and Telling.
The Active Voice.
The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien.
Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?, Joyce Carol Oates.
4. Building Character: Characterization, Part I.
The Indirect Methods of Character Presentation.
Interpretation By Another Character.
Gryphon, Charles Baxter.
The Visible Man, Elizabeth Stuckey-French.
5. The Flesh Made Word: Characterization, Part II.
The Direct Methods of Character Presentation.
Format and Style.
Text and Subtext.
Conflict Between Methods of Presentation.
Creating a Group or Crowd.
Character: A Summary.
Aren't You Happy For Me?, Richard Bausch.
6. Long Ago and Far Away: Fictional Place and Time.
Setting and Atmosphere.
Harmony and Conflict Between Character and Background.
Setting and Character.
Setting and Emotion.
Symbolic and Suggestive Setting.
Alien and Familiar Setting.
An Exercise in Setting.
Some Aspects of Narrative Time.
Summary and Scene.
Revising Summary and Scene.
Further Thoughts on Openings and Endings.
Dark Corner, Robert Morgan.
Which Is More Than I Can Say About Some People, Lorrie Moore.
Bullet in The Brain, Tobias Wolff.
7. Call Me Ishmael: Point of View, Part I.
In What Form?
The Comedian, John L'Heureux.
Lectures On How You Never Lived Back Home, Evelina Galang.
8. Assorted Liars: Point of View, Part II.
At What Distance?
Spatial and Temporal Distance.
With What Limitations?
The Unreliable Narrator.
An Exercise in Unreliability.
Unreliability in Other Viewpoints.
Snow, Julia Alvarez.
Beautiful My Mane in the Wind, Catherine Petroski.
Jealous Husband Returns in Form of Parrot, Robert Olen Butler.
Who's Irish?, Gish Jen.
Screentime, Stephen Jones.
9. Is and Is Not: Comparison.
Types of Metaphor and Simile.
Metaphoric Faults to Avoid.
Menagerie, Charles Johnson.
Eyes of a Blue Dog, Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
10. I Gotta Use Words When I Talk to You: Theme.
Idea and Morality in Theme.
How Fictional Elements Contribute to Theme.
Developing Theme as You Write.
Wave, John Holman.
This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona, Sherman Alexie.
11. Play It Again, Sam: Revision.
Worry It and Walk Away.
Further Suggestions For Revision.
Examples Of The Revision Process.
Appendix A: Kinds Of Fiction.
Appendix B: Suggestions For Further Reading.