Narrative Design: Working with Imagination, Craft, and Form

Overview

With clarity, verve, and the sure instincts of a good teacher, Madison Smartt Bell offers a roll-up-your-sleeves approach to writing in this much-needed book.
Focusing on the big picture as well as the crucial details, Bell examines twelve stories by both established writers (including Peter Taylor, Mary Gaitskill, and Carolyn Chute) and his own former students. A story's use of time, plot, character, and other elements of fiction are analyzed, and readers are challenged to see ...
See more details below
Paperback
$14.15
BN.com price
(Save 25%)$18.95 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (24) from $2.44   
  • New (11) from $8.67   
  • Used (13) from $2.44   
Narrative Design: Working with Imagination, Craft, and Form

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.49
BN.com price
(Save 44%)$18.95 List Price

Overview

With clarity, verve, and the sure instincts of a good teacher, Madison Smartt Bell offers a roll-up-your-sleeves approach to writing in this much-needed book.
Focusing on the big picture as well as the crucial details, Bell examines twelve stories by both established writers (including Peter Taylor, Mary Gaitskill, and Carolyn Chute) and his own former students. A story's use of time, plot, character, and other elements of fiction are analyzed, and readers are challenged to see each story's flaws and strengths. Careful endnotes bring attention to the ways in which various writers use language. Bell urges writers to develop the habit of thinking about form and finding the form that best suits their subject matter and style. His direct and practical advice allows writers to find their own voice and imagination.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393320213
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/28/2000
  • Pages: 392
  • Sales rank: 413,207
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Madison Smartt  Bell
Madison Smartt Bell is the author of twelve novels, his most recent being The Stone That the Builder Refused. He teaches at Goucher College and lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

Biography

Best known for an acclaimed trilogy of novels which chart the Haitian Revolution of 1791-1803 (All Souls Rising; Master of the Crossroads; and The Stone That The Builder Refused), Madison Smartt Bell was born and raised in Nashville, TN, and educated at Princeton University and Hollins College. In addition to fiction that ranges from historical novels to short stories to dark psychological thrillers, he has written biographies (one of pioneering chemist Antoine Lavoisier and another of Haitian leader Toussaint L'Ouverture) and Charm City, an idiosyncratic guided tour of Baltimore, where he lives with his wife, the poet Elizabeth Spires. He has taught at the Iowa Writers' Workshop and at Johns Hopkins University and currently directs the Creative Writing program at Goucher College. In 1996, Bell was chosen by the British literary magazine Granta as one of the twenty Best Young American Novelists. He is also an accomplished songwriter and musician.

Good To Know

"Two of my longterm pastimes are martial arts and music. I think this item of fact should make the characters I've written who practice both more plausible. I practiced Tae Kwon Do for 20 years until my knees stopped cooperating. Since then I've been doing Tae Chi -- great for concentration, meditation, clearing the head and restoring the energy, as well as being easier on the joints for anyone over 40. I've played various fretted instruments since I was 11, most recently electric guitar. Anything Goes, my most recent book, is a novel about a year in the live of a traveling cover band. It features a few original tunes cowritten by me and Wyn Cooper."

"Since 1996 I've been importing a few paintings from the Cap Haitien area of Haiti, as a benefit for painters there who suffer from the sharp decline of tourism. and some of these paintings can be seen at http://faculty.goucher.edu/mbell/painting.htm."

Read More Show Less
    1. Hometown:
      Baltimore, Maryland
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 1, 1957
    2. Place of Birth:
      Nashville, Tennessee
    1. Education:
      A.B. in English, Princeton University, 1979; M.A. in English and creative writing, Hollins College, 1981
    2. Website:

Table of Contents

Preface xi
I. Unconscious Mind 1
II. Linear Design 23
Depth Charge by Craig Bernardini 33
Analysis 45
Plot 45
Character 47
Tone 47
Time Management 48
Dialogue 48
Suspense 49
Point of View 49
Imagery 50
Design 50
Theme 51
Notes 52
A Wife of Nashville by Peter Taylor 61
Analysis 80
Plot 80
Character 81
Tone 84
Point of View 84
Time Management 86
Design 88
Notes 90
Daisy's Valentine by Mary Gaitskill 98
Analysis 114
Plot 114
Character 115
Tone 117
Point of View 118
Time Management 118
Dialogue 119
Suspense 120
Imagery and Description 120
Design 121
Notes 123
Hear That Long Train Moan by Percival Everett 132
Analysis 136
Plot 136
Character 137
Tone 138
Point of View 138
Dialogue 139
Symbolism 139
Design 141
Notes 143
Oh, Man Alive by Holden Brooks 147
Analysis 154
Plot 154
Character 155
Tone 156
Point of View 156
Dialogue 157
Imagery and Description 157
Design 159
Notes 160
The Sky Is Gray by Ernest J. Gaines 165
Analysis 188
Plot 188
Character 189
Tone 193
Point of View 194
Dialogue 194
Imagery and Description 195
Time Management 196
Design 197
Notes 200
III. Modular Design 211
Signs of Life by Miriam Kuznets 217
Analysis 221
Plot 221
Character 222
Tone 222
Point of View 223
Dialogue 223
Imagery 224
Design 224
Notes 227
Lizzie, Annie, and Rosie's Rescue of Me with Blue Cake by Carolyn Chute 232
Analysis 243
Plot 243
Character 244
Tone 245
Point of View 246
Dialogue 246
Imagery and Description 247
Design 248
Notes 251
The Child Downstairs by Marcia Golub 257
Analysis 263
Plot 263
Character 264
Tone 266
Point of View 267
Dialogue 267
Imagery and Description 268
Design 269
Notes 270
Red Hands by William T. Vollmann 276
Analysis 282
Plot 282
Character 283
Tone 284
Point of View 285
Time Management 287
Dialogue 288
Imagery and Description 288
Design 291
Notes 293
Comic Strip by George Garrett 300
Analysis 312
Plot 312
Character 314
Tone 316
Point of View 317
Dialogue 317
Time Management 318
Suspense 319
Imagery and Description 319
Design 323
Notes 326
Little Red by Gilmore Tamny 336
Analysis 346
Plot 346
Character 348
Tone 349
Dialogue 349
Imagery and Description 351
Design 352
Notes 356
IV. A Philosophy of Composition 363
Glossary of Terms 371
Contributors 375
Permissions Acknowledgments 377
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)