Crossroads: Creative Writing in Four Genres / Edition 1

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In Crossroads, a wealth of exercises and rich diversity of models address the elements of writing fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and drama while developing an individual's writing skills. Clear, concise discussions of particular techniques of creative writing are followed by practice of these individual techniques. Potent, vital models are offered in an extensive anthology of classic and contemporary readings.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780321127617
  • Publisher: Longman
  • Publication date: 10/6/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 96,603
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface to the Instructor.



Beginning/Points of Inspiration.

Keeping a Journal.

Personal Stories: History as Your Own Heartbeat.

Memory and Imagination.

Telling Lies to tell the Truth.

Voice, Tone and Style.

Finding Your True Subjects.

A Question of Style.

Conditional Voice.

Shifting Tone.

Breaking the Rules.

Perspective and Point of View.

Choosing a Point of View.

Embodying a Voice.

Innocent Perspective.

Using Biography.

Detail, Image, and Symbol.

Detailing a Story.

Turning Abstractions into Images and Action.

Using All of Your Senses.

Writing from Art.

Symbols, not Cymbals.

Figurative Language.


Origins of Words.

Parts of Speech.

Foreign Flavor.

Surrealist game.


Tell-Tale Dialect.


Setting with Personality.

Setting from Family History.

Setting Your Hometown.

Plot and Tension.

Foundations of Plot.

Reversing the Plot.

Trading Characters, Settings, and Conflicts.

Reverberating Closure.


Finding Your Rhythm: Poetry in Prose.

Parallel Structures.

Listening to Nature.

Character and Speaker.

Populating a Piece.

Assuming a Voice.

Inside a Character's Mind.


Dialogue Makes Character.

The Unsaid.

Dropping from the Eaves.

Conversations Between Texts.

Making the Old Story New.

Song and Story.

Kubla Khan Continued.


Re-reading, Re-imagining, Re-shaping.

What's in a Name: Finding a Title.

Finding the Form: A Revision Narrative.

Workshop: Thirteen Ways of Looking for Revision.



From Memory to Memoir.

Researching a Life: Biographical Sketch.

Taking a Stand: Personal Opinion.

Living Sources: Gathering and Using Information.

Reflecting on the World.

Writing about Place.

A Piece of History.

Finding the Emotional Truth.

Revision: Beyond the Frame.


Populating a Plot.

A Spell of Trouble: Conflict and Tension.

Writing Between the Lines: Subtext.

How You See It; How You Don't: Points of View.

Setting the Story.

The Passage of Time.

Compelling Characters.


Writing Inside the Story: Metafiction.

Revision: Re-imagining Character and Conflict.


Sound, Sense and Nonsense.

Random Connections.

Making Metaphor: Image, Symbol, Metaphor Revisited.

Free Verse: Origins and Seasons.

Making and Breaking the Line.


Rhythm and Refrain.

Hearing the Beat: Using Meter.

Trochaic Meter and Spells.

Making Rhyme Fresh.

Forms from Various Cultures and Traditions.

Performing the Poem: Reading, Slam, Performance.

Revision: Drafts and Discovery.


Drama in Action.

Opening Scenes.

Writing on the Edge: Desire and Dramatic Tension.

Dramatic Twist: From the Real to the Fantastic.

Writing Along The Time-Line.

Making Dialogue Dramatic.

Look Who's Talking: Unique Characters.

Setting the Stage.

Revision: Heightening Conflict.



Diane Ackerman, “The Truth about Truffles,” (from A Natural History of the Senses).

Bruce Chatwin, from In Patagonia.

Fred D'Aguiar, “A Son in Shadow.”

Naomi Shihab Nye, “Three Pokes of a Thistle.”

Mimi Schwartz, “Memoir? Fiction? Where's the Line?”

Leslie Marmon Silko, “Landscape, History, and the Pueblo Imagination.”

Alice Walker, “Am I Blue.”

Terry Tempest Williams, “Peregrine Falcon,” from Refuge.


Anton Chekhov, “Misery.”

Evan Connell, from Mrs. Bridge.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper.”

Jamaica Kincaid, “Girl.”

Ursula LeGuin, “The Wife's Story.”

Doris Lessing, “A Woman on a Roof.”

Alice Munro, “How I Met My Husband.”

Tim O'Brien, “The Things They Carried.”

Sharon Oard Warner, “A Simple Matter of Hunger.”


Sherman Alexie, “Indian Education.”

W.H. Auden, “Musee des Beaux Arts.”

Elizabeh Bishop, “One Art.”

Lewis Carroll, “Jabberwocky.”

Wendy Cope, “Lonely Hearts.”

Paul Laurence Dunbar: “We Wear the Mask.”

Rhina Espaillat, “Bilingual, Bilingüe.”

Annie Finch: “Sapphics for Patience.”

Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken.”

Dana Gioia, “My Confessional Sestina.”

R. S. Gwynn, “Shakespearean Sonnet.”

Hafiz, “If From the Rock.”

Joy Harjo, “She Had Some Horses.”

Nikos Kavadias, “A Knife.”

Shirley Geok-lin Lim, “Pantoum for Chinese Women.”

April Lindner, “Spice.”

David Mason, “Acrostic from Aegina.”

Marianne Moore, “Poetry.”

Frederick Morgan, “1904.”

Marilyn Nelson: “Chosen.”

Naomi Shihab Nye, “Famous.”

Craig Raine, “A Martian Sends a Postcard Home.”

E.A. Robinson: “Richard Cory.”

Sor Juana Inès de la Cruz, “She Promises to Hold a Secret in Confidence.”

William Stafford, “Traveling Through the Dark.”

Alfonsina Storni, “Ancestral Burden.”

Diane Thiel, “Memento Mori in Middle School.”

Cesar Vallejo, “To My Brother, Miguel.”

Carolyn Beard Whitlow, “Rockin' a Man Stone Blind.”

Walt Whitman, “When Lilacs last in the Dooryard Bloomed.”

Walt Whitman, “When I Heard the Learned Astronomer.”

Richard Wilbur, “The Writer.”

Miller Williams, “The Curator.”

William Carlos Williams, “The Dance.”

William Butler Yeats, “The Lake Isle of Innisfree.”


Sherman Alexie, from Smoke Signals.

Susan Glaspell, “Trifles.”

David Ives, “Time Flies.”

David LeMaster, “The Assassination and Persecution of Abraham Lincoln.”

Jacquelyn Reingold, “Creative Development.”

Milcha Sanchez-Scott, “The Cuban Swimmer.”

Writers on the Art.

Sherman Alexie and Diane Thiel, “An Interview with Sherman Alexie.”

Rhina Espaillat, “Bilingual/Bilingüe.”

Robert Frost, “Poetic Metaphor“ from “Education by Poetry.”

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “Why I Wrote the Yellow Wallpaper.”

Edgar Allan Poe, “The Tale and Its Effect.”

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