Alone With All That Could Happen: Rethinking Conventional Wisdom About The Craft Of Fiction

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In a satisfying story or novel, all of the pieces seem to fit together so effortlessly, so seamlessly, that it's easy to find yourself wondering, "How on earth did the author do this?" The answer is simple: He sat alone at his desk, considered an array of options, and made smart, careful choices.

In Alone With All That Could Happen, award-winning author and respected creative writing professor David Jauss addresses overlooked or commonly misunderstood aspects of fiction writing,...

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Overview

In a satisfying story or novel, all of the pieces seem to fit together so effortlessly, so seamlessly, that it's easy to find yourself wondering, "How on earth did the author do this?" The answer is simple: He sat alone at his desk, considered an array of options, and made smart, careful choices.

In Alone With All That Could Happen, award-winning author and respected creative writing professor David Jauss addresses overlooked or commonly misunderstood aspects of fiction writing, offering practical information and advice that will help you make smart creative and technical decisions about such topics as:

  • writing prose whose syntax and rhythm create a "soundtrack" for the story it tells
  • choosing the right point of view to create the appropriate degree of "distance" between your characters and the reader
  • writing valid and convincing epiphanies
  • harnessing the power of contradiction in the creative process
In one thought-provoking essay after another, Jauss sorts through unique fiction-writing conundrums, including how to create those exquisite intersections between truth and fabrication that make all great works of fiction so much more resonant and powerful than fiction that follows the generic "write what you know" approach that's so often preached.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582975382
  • Publisher: F+W Media
  • Publication date: 7/8/2008
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

David Jauss is an award-winning fiction writer, poet, and essayist. He has been teaching creative writing from more than thirty years and speaks regularly at writing conferences like the annual AWP. He is currently a tenured professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He also teaches in the low-residency MFA in Writing Program at Vermont College. In addition, he's instructed at the University of Iowa; Southwest State University in Marshall, Minnesota; and Syracuse University.

www.davidjauss.com

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Table of Contents

Foreword Bret Lott Lott, Bret

I Autobiographobia: Writing and the Secret Life 3

II From Long Shots to X-Rays: Distance and Pointof View in Fiction 25

III What We Talk About When We Talk About Flow 59

IV Remembrance of Things Present: Present Tense in Contemporary Fiction 86

V Some Epiphanies About Epiphanies 120

VI Stacking Stones: Building a Unified Short Story Collection 149

VII Lever of Transcendence: Contradiction and the Physics of Creativity 184

Notes on the Essays 211

Index 237

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2009

    Amazing book about the craft of writing

    David Jauss's book is a true treasure for writers. This is absolutely one of the best books I've read on writing fiction. The book is informed by 30+ years of teaching, writing and editing, and as such, it provides a window into all that is good about contemporary fiction--and much that is assumed, and can use improvement. At one point, Jauss mentions that in his years of teaching/editing, he has read upwards of 40,000 short stories submitted to a literary journal or for a creative writing class. That is literally a staggering number to contemplate. This man is seriously dedicated. This book is a life's work--Jauss has thought deeply about writing and writers for years, and it shows. I absolutely loved it. I'm grateful that David put his incredible thoughts and experiences together in this remarkably well-crafted book to benefit the individual lives of writers and the writing of contemporary fiction as a whole.

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