Sincerest Form / Edition 1by Nicholas Delbanco
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.
- McGraw-Hill Companies, The
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- New Edition
Table of Contents
How to Use This BookAbout the WritersApproachesThe StoriesNotes on Craft and ContextImitationFollowing Your Own LeadApplications, Connections, and ExercisesThe Approach: Variations on a ThemeTeaching ImitationAdvanced ExercisesPractice Makes a Better PractitionerAcknowledgmentsTheory and Practice: An Introduction
Part I: Reading and Imitating the Master StylistChapter 1: Plot and Structure. The Art of the EchoAndrea Barrett, "The Behavior of the Hawkweeds"Writer’s View“The Behavior of the Hawkweeds”Notes on Craft and ContextOn Point of View in StructureOn Characterization in StructureOn Theme in StructureOn Theme in PlotOn Timespan: The Structure of PlotOn Plot and Structure: Putting it TogetherWriter’s ViewOn History and InventionWriter’s View Applications and ConnectionsExercises Chapter 2: A Primer for Narrative Styles. Self-reflexive Fiction and the World Within the WorldJohn Barth, "Lost in the Funhouse"Writer’s View“Lost in the Funhouse”Notes on Craft and ContextOn Form and Language in StyleOn Theme in StyleAuthor as Character, Character as AuthorOn Fiction about Fiction“Lost in the Funhouse” as a Primer for Narrative StylesOn Self-reflexive ImitationWriter’s ViewApplications and ConnectionsExercisesExamples of Student WorkGenevieve Kolasa, Exercise 4Erin Hockenberry, Exercise 10Chapter 3: Character and the Epiphanic Moment. Learning to Reveal the HiddenCharles Baxter, "Fenstad’s Mother"Writer’s View“Fenstad’s Mother”Notes on Craft and ContextOn Plot in CharacterizationCounterpointed Characterization: Protagonist and AntagonistThe Epiphanic MomentHumor and Dialogue in CharacterizationExtras: Allusions in CharacterizationLife Off the Page: Development of Minor CharactersOn Real CharactersWriter’s ViewApplications and ConnectionsExercisesChapter 4: Dialogue. Minimalism and the MonologueRaymond Carver, "A Small Good Thing"Writer’s View“A Small Good Thing”Notes on Craft and ContextOn Economy in Language and DialogueOn Expansion as RevisionFleshing Out a StoryOn Character: Names and DistanceOn Point of View and DistanceOn the Selection of DetailsOn Dialogue and MonologueWriter’s ViewOn Evoking Emotional Intensity Through RestraintApplications and ConnectionsExercisesExamples of Student WorkDena Zamore: Exercise 3Ray Howell: Exercise 4Chapter 5: Theme and the Selection of Details. Writing in RetrospectRichard Ford, "Communist"Writer’s View“Communist”Notes on Craft and ContextDetails: On TimespanWriting Up CloseWriting at a DistanceSummary vs. DialogueDetails: On What’s Left UnsaidThe Selection of DetailsOn Details in ThemeOn Setting in ThemeWriter’s ViewApplications and ConnectionsExercises Chapter 6: Compression. Prose as ArchitectureErnest Hemingway, "Chapter VII," " "In Another Country"Writer’s View“Chapter VII”Notes on Craft and ContextOn Compression and StyleOn Point of View in StyleOn Word Choice and Syntax“In Another Country”Notes on Craft and ContextOn Tense and Point of ViewOn Dialogue and LanguageOn Prose as ArchitectureWriter’s ViewApplications and ConnectionsExercisesExamples of Student WorkJess RowLeah Stewart Chapter 7: Setting. Perception, Place, and DisplacementBharati Mukherjee, "The Management of Grief"Writer’s View“The Management of Grief”Notes on Craft and ContextOn Setting: Empathy and the UnfamiliarThe Facts: Setting the SceneOn Collective Catastrophes and Shared GriefOn Place and DisplacementOn FateOn Displaced CharactersOn the Unreliable NarratorOn Perception and DisplacementOn Displacement as Bond and Conflict On Time and Place in DisplacementApplications and ConnectionsExercisesChapter 8: Point of View and Comic Timing. You and ILorrie Moore, "How to Become a Writer"Writer’s View“How to Become a Writer”Notes on Craft and ContextOn Second Person Point of ViewYou as You and IOn ParodyOn Nontraditional PlotNot One Climax, But Many: Episodic PlotHumor: Rhythm and DictionPoint of View: Sharing the Joke and the DarknessApplications and ConnectionsExercisesExamples of Student WorkStephanie Anderson, “How to Become a Beatnik”Zachary Bernstein, “How to Become a Bowler”Chapter 9: Dramatic Encounter. Mixing the Accidental and the ForeordainedFlannery O'Connor, "A Good Man is Hard to Find"Writer’s View“A Good Man is Hard to Find”Notes on Craft and ContextOn the PlotOn the ForeordainedOn Humor and HorrorPlot: Escalating DangerOn Character Driving PlotOn Hints from Minor CharactersOn Free Will and PredestinationOn Pace and the Dramatic Encounter: Sustaining HopeOn Character and GraceOn Symbolic and Thematic ImplicationsAfter the Dramatic EncounterWriter’s ViewApplications and ConnectionsExercisesChapter 10: Language and Form. The Power of Data and ListsTim O’Brien, "The Things They Carried"Writer’s View“The Things They Carried”Notes on Craft and ContextThe Challenges of “True” NarrativeOn Form: The List StoryOn the Tonality and Weight of ListsOn Style and RhythmOn Dialogue and Specific LanguageOn the Individual and Universal Character“Good Form”On Invention as Truth-seeking and Narrative PosturingWriter’s ViewDrawing Connections: Hemingway and BarthFrom Imitation to Original CreationApplications and ConnectionsExercisesExamples of Student WorkBenjamin Zick, Exercise 6Emily Neenan, Exercise 6 Chapter 11: The Process of Revision. Inflected EnglishBernard Malamud, "The Magic Barrell"Writer’s View“The Magic Barrel”Notes on Craft and ContextWriter’s ViewRevision as CreationOn the Process of RevisionOn Creating and Revising CharactersOn Magical RealismOn Style and DialogueOn Style and DescriptionOn Plot and Point of ViewGetting the Ending RightOn Theme Without ReductionApplications and ConnectionsExercisesChapter 12: Autobiography versus Invention. Blending Fantasy and RealityJamaica Kincaid, "My Mother"Writer’s View“My Mother”Notes on Craft and ContextReading Genre: Fantasy or Reality?On Autobiography in FictionOn Culture: Reinventing NarrativeWriter’s ViewOn Autobiography and SymbolRepresentative Character and ConflictEpisodic Plot: Transformation and FluxConcrete Detail in InventionOn Imitation and AutobiographyOn Interchangeable Identity and LanguageThe Concrete in the AbstractApplications and ConnectionsExercisesExamples of Student WorkMichael 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"ExercisesPeter Ho Davies, "Relief"ExercisesJunot Diaz, "How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie"ExercisesStewart Dybek, "We Didn’t"ExercisesAmy Hempel, "In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried"ExercisesGish Jen, "Who’s Irish?"ExercisesJumpa Lahiri, "Sexy"ExercisesReginald McNight, "The Kind of Light That Shines on Texas"ExercisesGrace Paley, "Faith in the Afternoon"ExercisesGeorge Saunders, "The Wavemaker Falters"ExercisesDavid Foster Wallace, "Forever Overhead"ExercisesEudora Welty, "Why I Live at the P.O."ExercisesPlease 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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