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Writing Fiction : A Guide to Narrative Craft,9780205750344
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Writing Fiction : A Guide to Narrative Craft

by ; ;
Edition:
8th
ISBN13:

9780205750344

ISBN10:
0205750346
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
1/3/2010
Publisher(s):
Longman
List Price: $106.40

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Customer Reviews

Excellent  March 12, 2011
by


I am taking a class in Fiction Writing and this was one of the texts I purchased for the class. Thistextbook encourages students to develop proficiency through each step of the writing process, offering an abundance of exercises designed to spur writing and creativity.If you buy only one writing book in your life, make it Janet Burroway's book. She offers the most sensible and insightful look into creating believable fiction that I've ever come across.






Writing Fiction : A Guide to Narrative Craft: 4 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.

Summary

A bestseller through six editions,Writing Fictionby novelists Janet Burroway and Elizabeth Stuckey-French explores the elements of fiction, providing practical writing techniques and concrete examples. Written in a tone that is personal and non-prescriptive, this book encourages writers to develop proficiency through each step of the writing process, offering an abundance of exercises designed to spur writing and creativity. The text Writing Fictionalso integrates diverse contemporary short stories in every chapter in the belief that the reading of inspiring fiction goes hand-in-hand with the writing of fresh and exciting stories. Thorough and practical discussions of all the major fictional elements offer readers a comprehensive guide to the craft of writing stories. Topics include freewriting, plot, style, characterization, dialogue, time, place, imagery, and point of view. For novice writers looking to develop proficiency.

Author Biography

JANET BURROWAY is the author of plays, poetry, essays, children’s books, and eight novels including The Buzzards, Raw Silk (runner up for the National Book Award), Opening Nights, Cutting Stone, and Bridge of Sand. Her publications include a collection of personal essays, "Embalming Mom," in addition to a volume of poetry, Material Goods, and two children’s books in verse, The Truck on the Track and The Giant Jam Sandwich . Her most recent plays, Medea with Child (The Reva Shiner Award), Sweepstakes, Division of Property (Arts & Letters Award), and Parts of Speech, have received readings and productions in NewYork, London, San Francisco, Hollywood, Chicago, and various regional theatres. Her textbook Writing Fiction, now in its eighth edition, is the most widely used creative writing text in the United States. She is Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor Emerita at the Florida State University in Tallahassee.

Table of Contents

*** indicate sections new to this edition.

 

Preface

 

1. Whatever Works: The Writing Process

Get Started

            Journal Keeping

            Freewriting

            Exercises

            The Computer

            The Critic: A Caution

            Choosing a Subject

Keep Going

A Word about Theme

Reading as Writers***

About the Writing Workshop***

            How Workshops Work***

            The Writer’s Role***

Writing Exercises

 

2. Seeing is Believing: Showing and Telling

Significant Detail

            Writing about Emotion

            Filtering

            Comparison

Types of Metaphor and Simile***

            Metaphoric Faults to Avoid***

The Active Voice

Prose Rhythm

Mechanics

“We Didn’t,” Stuart Dybeck***

“Big Me,” Dan Chaon

“The Red Fox Fur Coat,” Teolinda Gersao (Translated by Margaret Jull Costa)***

            Freewriting

            Exercises

            The Computer

            The Critic: A Caution

            Choosing a Subject

Keep Going

A Word about Theme

Reading as Writers***

About the Writing Workshop***

            How Workshops Work***

            The Writer’s Role***

Writing Exercises

 

2. Seeing is Believing: Showing and Telling

Significant Detail

            Writing about Emotion

            Filtering

            Comparison

Types of Metaphor and Simile***

            Metaphoric Faults to Avoid***

The Active Voice

Prose Rhythm

Mechanics

“We Didn’t,” Stuart Dybeck***

“Big Me,” Dan Chaon

“The Red Fox Fur Coat,” Teolinda Gersao (Translated by Margaret Jull Costa)***

Writing Exercises

 

3. Building Character: Dialogue

The Direct Methods of Character Presentation

Dialogue

            Summary, Indirect, and Direct Dialogue

            Economy in Dialogue

            Characterizing Dialogue

            Other Uses of Dialogue

            Dialogue as Action

            Text and Subtext

            “No” Dialogue

            Specificity

            Format and Style

            Vernacular

“Fiesta, 1980,” Junot Diaz***

“Every Tongue Shall Confess,” Z.Z. Packer***

“His Hand on my Restless Leg,” Pia Z. Ehrhardt***

Writing Exercises

 

4. The Flesh Made Word: Characterization, Part II

The Direct Methods of Character Presentation

            Appearance

            Action

            Thought

The Indirect Methods of Character Presentation  

 Authorial Interpretation

            Interpretation by Another Character

Conflict between Methods of Presentation

           The Universal Paradox

Credibility

Purpose

Complexity

Change
Reinventing Character
Creating a Group or Crowd

The Character Journal
Character: A Summary

 “Mule Killers,” Lydia Peelle***

Bullet in the Brain,” Tobias Wolff

Tandolfo the Great,” Richard Bausch

Writing Exercises

 

5. Far, Far Away: Fictional Place

Place and Atmosphere

Harmony and Conflict Between Character and Place

Place and Character
Place and Emotion

Symbolic and Suggestive Place
Alien and Familiar Place

An Exercise in Place

“The Sea Fairies,” Maura Stanton***

“Love and Hydrogen,” Jim Shepard

A Visit of Charity,” Eudora Welty

Writing Exercises

 

6. Long Ago: Fictional Time

Summary and Scene

Revising Summary and Scene

Flashback

Slow Motion

“Homonoids,” Jill McCorkle***

“Mrs. Dutta Writes a Letter,” Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

“Feelers,” John Gould***

Writing Exercises

 

7. The Tower and the Net: Story Form, Plot, and Structure

Conflict, Crisis, and Resolution

The Arc of the Story

Patterns of Power

Connection and Disconnection

Story Form as a Check Mark

Story and Plot

The Short Story and the Novel

“What You Pawn, I Will Redeem,” Sherman Alexie***

“My Kid’s Dog,” Ron Hansen***

“Everything That Rises Must Converge,” Flannery O’Connor

Writing Exercises

 

8. Call Me Ishmael: Point of View

Who Speaks?

            Third Person

            Second Person

            First Person

To Whom?

            The Reader

            Another Character

            The Self

            Interior Monologue

            Stream of Consciousness

In What Form?

At What Distance?

Consistency: A Final Caution

“Missing Women,” June Spence***

 “Who’s Irish?,” Gish Jen

“Reply All,” Robin Hemley***

Writing Exercises

 

9. Play It Again, Sam: Revision

Re-Vision

Worry It and Walk Away

Criticism and the Story Workshop

Asking the Big Question: “What Have I Written”

How Fictional Elements Contribute to Theme

Revision Questions

Further Suggestions for Revision

Examples of the Revision Process

“Notes on Keith” and early draft of “Keith,” Ron Carlson***

Final Draft of “Keith,” Ron Carlson

Writing Exercises

 

Appendix: Kinds of Fiction

Credits

Index

 

 

 

 



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