What if?: Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers / Edition 1

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Overview

An essential to any writer's library, What If? is comprised entirely of specific exercises intended to help the reader master the art of writing fiction.The exercises isolate the various elements of fiction - dialogue, plot, characterization, point- of-view, etc. - and present specific problems to solve through writing.Directed toward both beginners and professional writers, this book addresses topics such as discovering where to start and end a story; learning when to use dialogue and when to use indirect discourse; transforming real events into fiction; and finding language that both sings and communicates precisely.For those interested in writing fiction.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780673990020
  • Publisher: Longman Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/7/1997
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 520
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

Anne Bernays
Anne Bernays
Daughter of Edward Bernays, known as "the father of Public Relations," and the grandniece of Sigmund Freud, Anne Bernays has made a name for herself in the literary world. Author of the influential writing textbook What If?: Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers, she is perhaps best known for her stirring novels, including Professor Romeo and Trophy House.

Biography

Anne Bernays is a novelist (including Professor Romeo and Growing Up Rich) and coauthor, with her husband, Justin Kaplan, of Back Then: Two Lives in 1950s New York. Her articles, book reviews and essays have appeared in such major publications as The New York Times, Sports Illustrated and The Nation. A longtime teacher of writing, she is coauthor, with Pamela Painter, of the textbook What If? Ms. Bernays currently teaches at Harvard's Nieman Foundation. She and Mr. Kaplan have six grandchildren. They live in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Truro, Cape Cod.

Author biography courtesy of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Good To Know

Some fun and fascinating out takes from our interview with Bernays:

"I've written a memoir, Back Then, which has a lot of dicey stuff in it. And it's a good read! I'm fixated on how things work and how groups of people work with and against each other. I'm also a passionate liberal, and am convinced that this administration is so business-oriented that it's forgotten to serve the people who elected it. I'm a lifelong Democrat and have voted in every election since 1952."

"We have three daughters, five grandsons and one granddaughter. I think about them all the time. They have pet names for me. I don't see them nearly enough."

"Justin and I play word games at breakfast. I'm a demon walker and walk about ten miles – briskly -- a week. We have two dogs, Pansy and Daisy, who seem to occupy more time and emotional space than they ought to."

"Justin and I love to travel. We go on these ‘educational' trips, where Harvard professors tell you what you're going to see or what you have just seen."

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    1. Hometown:
      Cambridge, Massachusetts
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 14, 1930
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      Wellesley College, 1948-1950; B A., Barnard College, 1952

Table of Contents

I. BEGINNINGS.

II. NOTEBOOKS, JOURNALS, AND MEMORY.

III. CHARACTERIZATION.

IV. PERSPECTIVE, DISTANCE, AND POINT OF VIEW.

V. DIALOGUE.

VI. PLOT.

VII. THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE.

VIII. A WRITER'S TOOLS.

IX. INVENTION AND TRANSFORMATION.

X. STORY ELEMENTS AND FORMS AS A GIVEN.

XI. REVISION: REWRITING IS WRITING.

XII. GAMES.

XIII. LEARNING FROM THE GREATS.

XIV. A COLLECTION OF SHORT FICTION.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2001

    Great for Teaching Writing to High School Students!

    I used this book in college for a creative writing class I took from Mary Clearman Blew (a published author) and kept it even after the semester was over. I began teaching English and creative writing at a private Christian school four years ago and was asked to create an elective creative writing course. This book really helped me through that first year to create a syllabus, course outline, and lessons throughout the year. It also has a collection of short stories that I have used in my Junior and Senior English courses as well, so I would reccommend this book to anyone who would like guidance in the teaching of writing.

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