Sincerest Form / Edition 1

Sincerest Form / Edition 1

by Nicholas Delbanco
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0072414715

ISBN-13: 2900072414713

Pub. Date: 10/06/2003

Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The

Nicolas Delbanco explores the stories and techniques of twelve stylists, from Ernest Hemingway to Jamaica Kincaid, and encourages students to imitate the craft of these master storytellers as they hone their own fiction writing skills.

Overview

Nicolas Delbanco explores the stories and techniques of twelve stylists, from Ernest Hemingway to Jamaica Kincaid, and encourages students to imitate the craft of these master storytellers as they hone their own fiction writing skills.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2900072414713
Publisher:
McGraw-Hill Companies, The
Publication date:
10/06/2003
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
432

Table of Contents

How to Use This Book

About the Writers

Approaches

The Stories

Notes on Craft and Context

Imitation

Following Your Own Lead

Applications, Connections, and Exercises

The Approach: Variations on a Theme

Teaching Imitation

Advanced Exercises

Practice Makes a Better Practitioner

Acknowledgments

Theory and Practice: An Introduction
Part I: Reading and Imitating the Master Stylist

Chapter 1: Plot and Structure. The Art of the Echo

Andrea Barrett, "The Behavior of the Hawkweeds"

Writer’s View

“The Behavior of the Hawkweeds”

Notes on Craft and Context

On Point of View in Structure

On Characterization in Structure

On Theme in Structure

On Theme in Plot

On Timespan: The Structure of Plot

On Plot and Structure: Putting it Together

Writer’s View

On History and Invention

Writer’s View

Applications and Connections

Exercises

Chapter 2: A Primer for Narrative Styles. Self-reflexive Fiction and the World Within the World

John Barth, "Lost in the Funhouse"

Writer’s View

“Lost in the Funhouse”

Notes on Craft and Context

On Form and Language in Style

On Theme in Style

Author as Character, Character as Author

On Fiction about Fiction

“Lost in the Funhouse” as a Primer for Narrative Styles

On Self-reflexive Imitation

Writer’s View

Applications and Connections

Exercises

Examples of Student Work

Genevieve Kolasa, Exercise 4

Erin Hockenberry, Exercise 10

Chapter 3: Character and the Epiphanic Moment. Learning to Reveal the Hidden

Charles Baxter, "Fenstad’s Mother"

Writer’s View

“Fenstad’s Mother”

Notes on Craft and Context

On Plot in Characterization

Counterpointed Characterization: Protagonist and Antagonist

The Epiphanic Moment

Humor and Dialogue in Characterization

Extras: Allusions in Characterization

Life Off the Page: Development of Minor Characters

On Real Characters

Writer’s View

Applications and Connections

Exercises

Chapter 4: Dialogue. Minimalism and the Monologue

Raymond Carver, "A Small Good Thing"

Writer’s View

“A Small Good Thing”

Notes on Craft and Context

On Economy in Language and Dialogue

On Expansion as Revision

Fleshing Out a Story

On Character: Names and Distance

On Point of View and Distance

On the Selection of Details

On Dialogue and Monologue

Writer’s View

On Evoking Emotional Intensity Through Restraint

Applications and Connections

Exercises

Examples of Student Work

Dena Zamore: Exercise 3

Ray Howell: Exercise 4

Chapter 5: Theme and the Selection of Details. Writing in Retrospect

Richard Ford, "Communist"

Writer’s View

“Communist”

Notes on Craft and Context

Details: On Timespan

Writing Up Close

Writing at a Distance

Summary vs. Dialogue

Details: On What’s Left Unsaid

The Selection of Details

On Details in Theme

On Setting in Theme

Writer’s View

Applications and Connections

Exercises

Chapter 6: Compression. Prose as Architecture

Ernest Hemingway, "Chapter VII," " "In Another Country"

Writer’s View

“Chapter VII”

Notes on Craft and Context

On Compression and Style

On Point of View in Style

On Word Choice and Syntax

“In Another Country”

Notes on Craft and Context

On Tense and Point of View

On Dialogue and Language

On Prose as Architecture

Writer’s View

Applications and Connections

Exercises

Examples of Student Work

Jess Row

Leah Stewart

Chapter 7: Setting. Perception, Place, and Displacement

Bharati Mukherjee, "The Management of Grief"

Writer’s View

“The Management of Grief”

Notes on Craft and Context

On Setting: Empathy and the Unfamiliar

The Facts: Setting the Scene

On Collective Catastrophes and Shared Grief

On Place and Displacement

On Fate

On Displaced Characters

On the Unreliable Narrator

On Perception and Displacement

On Displacement as Bond and Conflict

On Time and Place in Displacement

Applications and Connections

Exercises

Chapter 8: Point of View and Comic Timing. You and I

Lorrie Moore, "How to Become a Writer"

Writer’s View

“How to Become a Writer”

Notes on Craft and Context

On Second Person Point of View

You as You and I

On Parody

On Nontraditional Plot

Not One Climax, But Many: Episodic Plot

Humor: Rhythm and Diction

Point of View: Sharing the Joke and the Darkness

Applications and Connections

Exercises

Examples of Student Work

Stephanie Anderson, “How to Become a Beatnik”

Zachary Bernstein, “How to Become a Bowler”

Chapter 9: Dramatic Encounter. Mixing the Accidental and the Foreordained

Flannery O'Connor, "A Good Man is Hard to Find"

Writer’s View

“A Good Man is Hard to Find”

Notes on Craft and Context

On the Plot

On the Foreordained

On Humor and Horror

Plot: Escalating Danger

On Character Driving Plot

On Hints from Minor Characters

On Free Will and Predestination

On Pace and the Dramatic Encounter: Sustaining Hope

On Character and Grace

On Symbolic and Thematic Implications

After the Dramatic Encounter

Writer’s View

Applications and Connections

Exercises

Chapter 10: Language and Form. The Power of Data and Lists

Tim O’Brien, "The Things They Carried"

Writer’s View

“The Things They Carried”

Notes on Craft and Context

The Challenges of “True” Narrative

On Form: The List Story

On the Tonality and Weight of Lists

On Style and Rhythm

On Dialogue and Specific Language

On the Individual and Universal Character

“Good Form”

On Invention as Truth-seeking and Narrative Posturing

Writer’s View

Drawing Connections: Hemingway and Barth

From Imitation to Original Creation

Applications and Connections

Exercises

Examples of Student Work

Benjamin Zick, Exercise 6

Emily Neenan, Exercise 6

Chapter 11: The Process of Revision. Inflected English

Bernard Malamud, "The Magic Barrell"

Writer’s View

“The Magic Barrel”

Notes on Craft and Context

Writer’s View

Revision as Creation

On the Process of Revision

On Creating and Revising Characters

On Magical Realism

On Style and Dialogue

On Style and Description

On Plot and Point of View

Getting the Ending Right

On Theme Without Reduction

Applications and Connections

Exercises

Chapter 12: Autobiography versus Invention. Blending Fantasy and Reality

Jamaica Kincaid, "My Mother"

Writer’s View

“My Mother”

Notes on Craft and Context

Reading Genre: Fantasy or Reality?

On Autobiography in Fiction

On Culture: Reinventing Narrative

Writer’s View

On Autobiography and Symbol

Representative Character and Conflict

Episodic Plot: Transformation and Flux

Concrete Detail in Invention

On Imitation and Autobiography

On Interchangeable Identity and Language

The Concrete in the Abstract

Applications and Connections

Exercises

Examples of Student Work

Michael K. Hung: My Mother: A Series of Poems“Transformation” and “One to Look Up To”

Ray Howell: (screenplay)
Part II: An Anthology:

John Cheever, "Reunion"

Exercises

Peter Ho Davies, "Relief"

Exercises

Junot Diaz, "How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie"

Exercises

Stewart Dybek, "We Didn’t"

Exercises

Amy Hempel, "In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried"

Exercises

Gish Jen, "Who’s Irish?"

Exercises

Jumpa Lahiri, "Sexy"

Exercises

Reginald McNight, "The Kind of Light That Shines on Texas"

Exercises

Grace Paley, "Faith in the Afternoon"

Exercises

George Saunders, "The Wavemaker Falters"

Exercises

David Foster Wallace, "Forever Overhead"

Exercises

Eudora Welty, "Why I Live at the P.O."

Exercises

Please visit the website at www.mhhe.com/delbanco for Additional Exercises (Advanced Level Exercises for further study) and fiction-related links.

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