Finding Your Writer's Voice: A Guide to Creative Fiction


An illuminating guide to finding one's most powerful writing tool, Finding Your Writer's Voice helps writers learn to hear the voices that are uniquely their own. Mixing creative inspiration with practical advice about craft, the book includes chapters on:

Accessing raw voice
Listening to voices of ...

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An illuminating guide to finding one's most powerful writing tool, Finding Your Writer's Voice helps writers learn to hear the voices that are uniquely their own. Mixing creative inspiration with practical advice about craft, the book includes chapters on:

Accessing raw voice
Listening to voices of childhood, public and private voices, and colloquial voices
Working in first and third person: discovering a narrative persona
Using voice to create characters
Shaping one's voice into the form of a story
Reigniting the energy of voice during revision

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A valuable collection of helpful exercises, thought-provoking ideas, personal anecdotes, and tips." —Writers Connection

"The authors are saying many of the same things that Brenda Ueland did in If you Want to Write...but they're taking it further...A meaty little book...I came away from it aglow, in love (again!) with my quest as a writer." —T.J. Banks, The Writing Self

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312151287
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2000
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 618,902
  • Product dimensions: 8.08 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Thaisa Frank, author of three books of short fiction and a forthcoming novel, is a two-time PEN award winner, and contributing editor to The San Francisco Review. She has taught at San Francisco State, University of California at Berkeley, and currently teaches at the University of San Francisco.

Dorothy Wall, poet and writing consultant, is also the author of numerous reviews and articles. She gives writing workshops and seminars, and has taught at San Francisco State University, Napa Valley College, and University of California at Berkeley, Extension. They both live in Oakland, California.

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Table of Contents

1 Telling Begins in an Atmosphere of Urgency 3
2 Voice: Your Most Powerful Tool 5
3 The Writer as Singer 8
4 The Importance of Raw Voice 10
5 The Voice as an Instrument 15
6 Inner Listening 20
7 Distilling Voice 24
8 Inviting Accidents 26
9 Listening to the Voice of Childhood 28
10 Public and Private Voices 32
11 The Sound of Colloquial Voice 35
12 The Chorus of Voice 38
13 Who's Speaking?: Voice and Character 41
14 Capturing the Inner Critic 46
15 Learning to Spot the Imposter 49
16 The Writer as Presence 54
17 Becoming a Prose Thief 58
18 Using the Journal Dangerously 61
19 Writing in the Pressure Cooker: Leading Raw Voice into the Story 65
20 If 68
21 Craft and the Voice of the Story 73
22 Going Deeper into the Story: Voice as Composer and Instrumentalist 77
23 From Anecdotes to Stories 80
24 Catalysts for the Story: Character-, Plot-, and Vision-Driven Stories 85
25 Working with Short Forms to Discover Your Story 90
26 Point of View 97
27 Meeting the First-Person Narrator 103
28 Working with Third Person: Discovering a Narrative Persona 111
29 Secrets as a Key to Character 117
30 Finding Dialogue through Impersonation 122
31 Voice and Tone 127
32 To Plot or Not to Plot 133
33 Gender Bending, Race Switching, and Beyond 139
34 Unity: Discovering a Story's Design 145
35 Returning to the Pressure Cooker 152
36 Revision: Exploding the Myth 159
37 The Art of Reading Your Own Fiction 164
38 Should Dick Have a Beard?: Meeting Your Editors 169
39 Listening for the Story Editor 173
40 Listening for the Sentence Editor 179
41 The Timing of Revision 184
42 How to Surprise Yourself in the Middle of Your Story 187
43 Filtering Feedback 191
44 When to Rewrite from Scratch 196
45 Talking to the Stranger: Another Angle on Revision 200
46 Returning to Raw Voice 205
47 Voice over the Long Haul 208
48 Audacity and Ruthlessness: (De)Constructing a Writer's Life 213
49 The Writer as Character 217
50 Writing during Hard Times 221
51 Some Truths about Truth-Telling 226
52 The Importance of Lying 233
53 Becoming Your Own Sovereign 237
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