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The Lie That Tells a Truth: A Guide to Writing Fiction
     

The Lie That Tells a Truth: A Guide to Writing Fiction

4.0 1
by John Dufresne
 

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

Finally, a truly creative—and hilarious—guide to creative writing, full of encouragement and sound advice. Provocative and reassuring, nurturing and wise, The Lie That Tells a Truth is essential to writers in general, fiction

Overview

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

Finally, a truly creative—and hilarious—guide to creative writing, full of encouragement and sound advice. Provocative and reassuring, nurturing and wise, The Lie That Tells a Truth is essential to writers in general, fiction writers in particular, beginning writers, serious writers, and anyone facing a blank page.

John Dufresne, teacher and the acclaimed author of Love Warps the Mind a Little and Deep in the Shade of Paradise, demystifies the writing process. Drawing upon the wisdom of literature's great craftsmen, Dufresne's lucid essays and diverse exercises initiate the reader into the tools, processes, and techniques of writing: inventing compelling characters, developing a voice, creating a sense of place, editing your own words. Where do great ideas come from? How do we recognize them? How can language capture them? In his signature comic voice, Dufresne answers these questions and more in chapters such as "Writing Around the Block," "Plottery," and "The Art of Abbreviation." Dufresne demystifies the writing process, showing that while the idea of writing may be overwhelming, the act of writing is simplicity itself.

Editorial Reviews

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.
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.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393078350
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
10/10/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
529,378
File size:
1 MB

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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.

Meet the Author

John Dufresne is the author of six novels, including No Regrets, Coyote. Among other honors, he has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and is a professor in the MFA program at Florida International University. He lives in Dania Beach, Florida.

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Lie That Tells a Truth: A Guide to Writing Fiction 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago