Imaginative Writing: The Elements of Craft / Edition 1

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New York, NY 2002 Trade paperback New. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 448 p. Penguin Academics. Audience: General/trade.

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Written by best-selling author Janet Burroway, Imaginative Writing is an introductory creative writing book that covers the four genres: essay, fiction, poetry, and drama,. Part I addresses the elements of craft (Image, Voice, Character, Setting, Story, and Development and Revision) while Part II explores the genres (Essay, Fiction, Poetry, and Drama). "Try This" Exercises appear throughout each chapter. Provocative and fun, the exercises help readers develop the specific writing skills discussed within the chapters. The book also includes an anthology of 90 complete readings in the four genres. Photographs and graphics, with accompanying warm-up activities, open each chapter. Appendices include collaborative exercises to emphasize the sensory foundations of imaginative writing, a description of standard formats for submitting finished work in each of the four genres, and an outline of the basic elements of prosody. For those interested in developing their creative writing skills.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780321081919
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 8/5/2002
  • Series: Penguin Academics Series
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 6.46 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

JANET BURROWAY is the author of plays, poetry, essays, children’s books, and eight novels including The Buzzards, Raw Silk (runner up for the National Book Award), Opening Nights, Cutting Stone, and Bridge of Sand. Her publications include a collection of personal essays, "Embalming Mom," in addition to a volume of poetry, Material Goods, and two children’s books in verse, The Truck on the Track and The Giant Jam Sandwich. Her most recent plays, Medea with Child (The Reva Shiner Award), Sweepstakes, Division of Property (Arts & Letters Award), and Parts of Speech, have received readings and productions in NewYork, London, San Francisco, Hollywood, Chicago, and various regional theatres. Her textbook Writing Fiction, now in its eighth edition, is the most widely used creative writing text in the United States. She is Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor Emerita at the Florida State University in Tallahassee.

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Instructor xv
Invitation to the Writer xx
You ... xx
... and writing ... xxi
... and reading ... xxii
... and this book ... xxii
... and your journal ... xxiii
... and your workshop xxvi
Part I The Elements of Craft
Chapter 1 Image 2
Image and Imagination 3
Concrete, Significant Details 7
Metaphor and Simile 11
Essays 14
"The Giant Water Bug" 14
From A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius 15
Fiction 19
"Sister Godzilla" 19
"Car Crash While Hitchhiking" 26
"The Hawk in the Rain" 31
"The Haunted Ruin" 32
"Facing It" 33
"The Surface" 34
"How to Use This Body" 35
"Why Regret?" 36
Drama 37
Act Without Words 37
The Drummer 40
Chapter 2 Voice 42
Your Voice 44
Persona 45
Character Voice 47
Point of View 49
Essays 55
From Angela's Ashes 55
"Invitation to a Transformation" 63
Fiction 64
"In the Kindergarten" 64
"The School" 72
Poems 74
"Order in the Streets" 74
"Black Hair" 75
"Hawk Roosting" 76
"Kong Looks Back on His Tryout with the Bears" 77
"Father" 78
"A Mown Lawn" 79
"The Language of Bees" 80
Drama 82
from Talking With ... Handler and French Fries 82
Chapter 3 Character 86
As Desire 87
As Image 89
As Voice 91
As Action 94
As Thought 96
As Presented by the Author 97
As Conflict 98
Essay 99
"The Inheritance of Tools" 99
Fiction 106
Poems 115
"I Knew a Woman" 115
"Stonecarver" 116
"My Brother's Work" 116
"Old man Hansen comes in at ten to" 117
"One Flesh" 118
"Old Men Playing Basketball" 118
"Portrait of a Writer" 119
Drama 121
Brother 121
Chapter 4 Setting 128
As the World 130
As a Camera 133
As Mood and Symbol 136
As Action 137
Essays 139
"At the Dam" 139
"Landscape and Narrative" 141
Fiction 147
"Snow" 147
Poems 156
"Deer Ghost" 156
"Earthmoving Malediction" 157
"Vacation" 158
"Nude Interrogation" 158
"Advice From the Extractor" 159
Drama 161
Dutchman 161
Chapter 5 Story 178
As a Journey 179
As a Power Struggle 181
As Connection/Disconnection 183
Essay 190
"Red Sky in the Morning" 190
Fiction 194
"Missing" 194
"Worry" 201
Poems 202
"A Story About the Body" 202
"Digging for China" 202
"Short Story" 203
"Woodchucks" 204
"The Hammock" 205
"Vita Nova" 206
Drama 208
The Battle of Bull Run Always Makes Me Cry 208
Chapter 6 Development and Revision 216
Developing a Draft 218
Revision and Editing 222
The Workshop 226
Examples 229
First and final drafts of "One Art" 229
"The Opening of Time Lapse: a revision narrative" 231
Developing Scene 237
Undrafting 238
Line Editing 239
Part II The Genres
Chapter 7 Essay 242
Kinds of Essay 244
Essay Techniques 247
Fact and Truth 251
Readings 254
"The Female Body" 254
"Those Words That Echo ... Echo ... Echo Through Life" 257
"The Knife" 261
"Belongings" 268
Chapter 8 Fiction 272
Story and Plot 273
Scene and Summary 276
Backstory and Flashback 278
Text and Subtext 281
Readings 283
"The Diamond Mine" 283
"Your Fears Are Justified" 289
"Mockingbird" 290
"It's Water, It's Not Going to Kill You" 291
"Tomorrow's Bird" 302
Chapter 9 Poetry 306
Free Verse and Formal Verse 308
Imagery, Connotation, and Metaphor 310
Density and Intensity 312
Prosody, Rhythm, and Rhyme 316
Readings 322
"Stillborn" 322
"The Grammar Lesson" 323
"The Poet, Trying to Surprise God" 323
"Like This Together" 324
"Romantic, at Horseshoe Key" 326
"Locking Yourself Out, Then Trying to Get Back In" 327
"Prose Poem" 328
"Black Silhouettes of Shrimpers" 329
"Repetition" 330
"Ghazal" 331
"The Language of the Brag" 332
"Dream Song 14" 333
"My Uncle Guillermo Speaks at His Own Funeral" 334
Chapter 10 Drama 336
The Difference Between Drama and Fiction 337
Sight: Sets, Action, Costumes, Props 339
Sound: Nonverbal and Verbal 342
Some Notes on Screenwriting 347
Readings 349
The Road to Ruin 349
Duet for Bear and Dog 357
Gas 362
Eukiah 367
The Philadelphia 371
Appendix A Collaborative Exercises 379
Appendix B Formats 387
1. Prose fiction and nonfiction 387
2. Poetry 387
3. Drama 387
Appendix C A Basic Prosody 393
Glossary 401
Index 407
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  • Posted September 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    My review of Imaginative Writing: The Elements of Craft by Janet Burroway

    I found Janet Burroway's book, Imaginative Writing: The Elements of Craft a great aid in my learning the art and science of Creative Writing. I first used the book in my introduction to Creative Writing in Graduate School. The book is very helpful in learning the elements of writing and how to use those elements in four genres of writing: Creative Nonfiction; Fiction; Poetry; and Drama
    The book is divided into two parts: Part 1 presents the elements chapter by chapter with insights into the elements: Image; Voice; Character; Setting; Story; and a chapter on developing a draft and editing it. The Image chapter encourages imbibing in the dynamic of actively bringing in your own memories, experiences, and imagination to evoke the senses in the writing process in the use of figures of speech such as personification, metaphor, and simile. The Voice chapter helps in acquiring a writing persona and presents points of view for writing in the use of first person, second person, and third person. The Character chapter combines the image and voice in bringing characters alive in the action of the story. The Setting chapter assists in establishing a place and time to ground the story and create the mood that reveals character, and advances the action. The Story chapter guides in developing structure to set up the stories conflict, crisis, and resolution in the power struggle between a protagonist and antagonist that gives the sense of uncertainty of outcome that keeps the story moving. The last chapter of Part 1 Development and Revision shows how to develop a draft of the story and how to structure it, and tips on research, revising, and editing the story. All chapters are rich in example pieces of work to highlight the process of the discussion.
    Part 2 acquaints in depth the four genres: Creative Nonfiction; Fiction; Poetry; and Drama. The Creative Nonfiction chapter gives good direction in approaching memoir and personal essay writing with guidance on emphasizing what is meant and what matters in the writing, getting to detail and dialogue, setting up the scenes, and character development. The Fiction chapter focuses on story and plot development, concrete scene detail to affect the senses of the reader, and summary for information and a sense of time. The Poetry chapter informs on the difference between Formal Verse and Free Verse. There is the use of imagery, connotation, and metaphor for a heightened evocation of the senses in producing an emotional response in the reader, poetic density, rhythm and rhyme, and the study of versification of the poetic line placing stress and scansion for poetic verve. The Appendix further defines and explains the poetic line and form, including iambs, troches, anapest, and dactyl for stress and unstressed metering.
    The last genre is Drama which explains the difference between drama and fiction. It shows the look and sound of drama with examples of dramatic play.
    I find this book invaluable in my on going study and learning of Creative Nonfiction and Poetry. I refer back to this book often to keep me on track in my creative writing endeavors, and I feel this book will be a boon to anyone yearning to be a writer.

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