Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft / Edition 8

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Overview

The most widely used and respected text in its field, Writing Fiction, 7e by novelists Janet Burroway and Elizabeth Stuckey-French guides the novice story writer from first inspiration to final revision by providing practical writing techniques and concrete examples. Written in a tone that is personal and non-prescriptive, the text encourages students to develop proficiency through each step of the writing process, offering an abundance of exercises designed to spur writing and creativity. The text also integrates diverse contemporary short stories in every chapter in the belief that the reading of inspiring fiction goes hand-in-hand with the writing of fresh and exciting stories.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205750344
  • Publisher: Longman
  • Publication date: 1/18/2010
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 8
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 65,115
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (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

*** indicate sections new to this edition.

Preface

1. Whatever Works: The Writing Process

Get Started

Journal Keeping

Freewriting

Exercises

The Computer

The Critic: A Caution

Choosing a Subject

Keep Going

A Word about Theme

Reading as Writers***

About the Writing Workshop***

How Workshops Work***

The Writer’s Role***

Writing Exercises

2. Seeing is Believing: Showing and Telling

Significant Detail

Writing about Emotion

Filtering

Comparison

Types of Metaphor and Simile***

Metaphoric Faults to Avoid***

The Active Voice

Prose Rhythm

Mechanics

“We Didn’t,” Stuart Dybeck***

“Big Me,” Dan Chaon

“The Red Fox Fur Coat,” Teolinda Gersao (Translated by Margaret Jull Costa)***

Freewriting

Exercises

The Computer

The Critic: A Caution

Choosing a Subject

Keep Going

A Word about Theme

Reading as Writers***

About the Writing Workshop***

How Workshops Work***

The Writer’s Role***

Writing Exercises

2. Seeing is Believing: Showing and Telling

Significant Detail

Writing about Emotion

Filtering

Comparison

Types of Metaphor and Simile***

Metaphoric Faults to Avoid***

The Active Voice

Prose Rhythm

Mechanics

“We Didn’t,” Stuart Dybeck***

“Big Me,” Dan Chaon

“The Red Fox Fur Coat,” Teolinda Gersao (Translated by Margaret Jull Costa)***

Writing Exercises

3. Building Character: Dialogue

The Direct Methods of Character Presentation

Dialogue

Summary, Indirect, and Direct Dialogue

Economy in Dialogue

Characterizing Dialogue

Other Uses of Dialogue

Dialogue as Action

Text and Subtext

“No” Dialogue

Specificity

Format and Style

Vernacular

“Fiesta, 1980,” Junot Diaz***

“Every Tongue Shall Confess,” Z.Z. Packer***

“His Hand on my Restless Leg,” Pia Z. Ehrhardt***

Writing Exercises

4. The Flesh Made Word: Characterization, Part II

The Direct Methods of Character Presentation

Appearance

Action

Thought

The Indirect Methods of Character Presentation

Authorial Interpretation

Interpretation by Another Character

Conflict between Methods of Presentation

The Universal Paradox

Credibility

Purpose

Complexity

Change
Reinventing Character
Creating a Group or Crowd

The Character Journal
Character: A Summary

“Mule Killers,” Lydia Peelle***

Bullet in the Brain,” Tobias Wolff

Tandolfo the Great,” Richard Bausch

Writing Exercises

5. Far, Far Away: Fictional Place

Place and Atmosphere

Harmony and Conflict Between Character and Place

Place and Character
Place and Emotion

Symbolic and Suggestive Place
Alien and Familiar Place

An Exercise in Place

“The Sea Fairies,” Maura Stanton***

“Love and Hydrogen,” Jim Shepard

A Visit of Charity,” Eudora Welty

Writing Exercises

6. Long Ago: Fictional Time

Summary and Scene

Revising Summary and Scene

Flashback

Slow Motion

“Homonoids,” Jill McCorkle***

“Mrs. Dutta Writes a Letter,” Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

“Feelers,” John Gould***

Writing Exercises

7. The Tower and the Net: Story Form, Plot, and Structure

Conflict, Crisis, and Resolution

The Arc of the Story

Patterns of Power

Connection and Disconnection

Story Form as a Check Mark

Story and Plot

The Short Story and the Novel

“What You Pawn, I Will Redeem,” Sherman Alexie***

“My Kid’s Dog,” Ron Hansen***

“Everything That Rises Must Converge,” Flannery O’Connor

Writing Exercises

8. Call Me Ishmael: Point of View

Who Speaks?

Third Person

Second Person

First Person

To Whom?

The Reader

Another Character

The Self

Interior Monologue

Stream of Consciousness

In What Form?

At What Distance?

Consistency: A Final Caution

“Missing Women,” June Spence***

“Who’s Irish?,” Gish Jen

“Reply All,” Robin Hemley***

Writing Exercises

9. Play It Again, Sam: Revision

Re-Vision

Worry It and Walk Away

Criticism and the Story Workshop

Asking the Big Question: “What Have I Written”

How Fictional Elements Contribute to Theme

Revision Questions

Further Suggestions for Revision

Examples of the Revision Process

“Notes on Keith” and early draft of “Keith,” Ron Carlson***

Final Draft of “Keith,” Ron Carlson

Writing Exercises

Appendix: Kinds of Fiction

Credits

Index

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2008

    A Core Book for Serious Writers

    I have hundreds of books on writing, but Burroway's book is a core book for anyone who's serious about writing. It covers everything, is both practical in its instruction and inspirational when you see just how everything can come together to create a good story. I use this book over and over to remind myself of key features. I have a few favorites out of my big collection, and this is definitely one of them! It's expensive, but worth it. Get it, even used--the way I got it. You won't regret it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2001

    The classic text

    This book covers it all--and well. Used in colleges around the country, it explains fictional techniques and how to write stories. I particularly like the exerpts and examples from noted authors used to illustrate each section.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2003

    Great guide!

    This book helped me to greatly improve my fiction writing. A wonderful help for making your stories sound like the greats!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted August 20, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2011

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