Lie That Tells a Truth: A Guide to Writing Fiction

Lie That Tells a Truth: A Guide to Writing Fiction

by John Dufresne
     
 

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"This is the most practical, hard-nosed, generous, direct, and useful guide to writing fiction."—Brad WatsonSee more details below

Overview

"This is the most practical, hard-nosed, generous, direct, and useful guide to writing fiction."—Brad Watson

Editorial Reviews

Alan Cheuse
“I used to think that the only books of this kind worth reading were John Gardner's and Janet Burroway's. I've made room on my shelf for Dufresne's.”
Ron Carlson
“Frank and friendly talk about the approach to and the craft of fiction....a welcome companion.”
Lewis Nordan
“This is the writing guide I've been waiting for.”
George Garrett
“Dufresne makes it all good fun, from first to last, from guggle to zatch. See for yourself.”
Janet Burroway
“An engaging covers-all-the bases guide—sometimes moving, often funny, full of goodwill and good sense.”
Steve Yarbrough
“Dufresne's literary intelligence shines through every line....I'll be directing people to this book for years to come. It's wonderful.”
Connie May Flower
“With uncommon candor, grace, insight, and clarity, Dufresne unmasks the Writer's Muse, allowing...a vivid and rich exploration of the creative process.”
Publisher's Weekly
A novelist and teacher, Dufresne (Deep in the Shade of Paradise) shares his blunt views on writing in this instruction book, which draws heavily on the tenets of realist fiction and method acting. Divided into two main sections-"The Process" focuses on habits and emotions; "The Product" emphasizes narrative mechanics-Dufresne's manual often adopts the tone of a fiery professor advising a group of wide-eyed young freshmen. "Fiction writing is arrested development," he declares. "Just know that you should quit right now if you can." Readers may sometimes feel lectured by his many stern instructions-"Thou Shalt Not Be Obscure," "Thou Shalt Show and Not Tell," "Thou Shalt Steal"-but the author hits his stride when he covers the mechanics of story. Particularly valuable is his advice on choosing character names, occupations, and points of view. A principle of acting teachers Konstantin Stanislavsky and Michael Chekhov-that exterior movement leads to interior feeling-forms the basis of one of Defresne's two chapters on characterization. Elsewhere, he skillfully analyzes the work of his favorite writers Anton Chekhov, Frank O'Connor and Eudora Welty. (Dufresne also mines his own work for examples of process and technique.) Each chapter closes with a set of writing exercises. Although this volume is unlikely to displace classic fiction guides like E.M. Forster's Aspects of the Novel, many readers may respond to the author's encouraging, exhorting tone. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393325812
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
07/19/2004
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
379,262
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)

What People are saying about this

Ron Carlson
Frank and friendly talk about the approach to and the craft of fiction....a welcome companion.
Lewis Nordan
This is the writing guide I've been waiting for.
Janet Burroway
An engaging covers-all-the bases guide—sometimes moving, often funny, full of goodwill and good sense.
Alan Cheuse
I used to think that the only books of this kind worth reading were John Gardner's and Janet Burroway's. I've made room on my shelf for Dufresne's.
George Garrett
Dufresne makes it all good fun, from first to last, from guggle to zatch. See for yourself.
Connie May Flower
With uncommon candor, grace, insight, and clarity, Dufresne unmasks the Writer's Muse, allowing...a vivid and rich exploration of the creative process.
Steve Yarbrough
Dufresne's literary intelligence shines through every line....I'll be directing people to this book for years to come. It's wonderful.

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