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In Crafting a Life in Essay, Story, Poem, Donald Murray demonstrates the craft that has been his discipline and joy for more than half a century. He describes how the writing act has allowed him to live his life twice—once in experience and once again as the evolving draft illuminates the texture and meaning of that experience.
Murray takes the reader into his private writer's workshop and not only reveals the basic techniques of writing essays, stories, and poems, but also discusses the attitudes—emotional and mental—that determine the effectiveness of his craft. Beginning and experienced writers will work beside this Pulitzer Prize winning craftsperson, catching ideas from life, developing them in language, shaping them into publishable forms. In the first section of the book, Murray talks about attitudes and skills that encourage and initiate writing. Then he deals with specific techniques of writing the personal essay, fiction, and poetry. In the final section, he explains the skills of revision and editing as well as ways to develop a writing community and submit work for publication.
Crafting a Life in Essay, Story, Poem is both a celebration of the writing process and a practical manual on how to explore the world with the written line. It is a book that every teacher and every student of writing should own.
Before Writing Give Yourself Permission to Write; Cultivating a Writing Habit; Developing a Writer's Attitude
Starting to Write Write What?; Listening to Your Voice; Inviting Surprise
Trying On the Essay Exploring Personal Experience; Finding a Context; Thinking with a Reader
Trying On Fiction Experiencing Story; Writing the Sun; Live Within the Story
Trying On Poetry Experiencing Poetry; "No Ideas but in Things"; Play with the Line
After Writing Create a Writing Community; The Art of Revision; The Art of Editing; Why Not Write a Book?; Getting Published