Writing Fiction / Edition 3

Writing Fiction / Edition 3

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by Janet Burroway
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0673521192

ISBN-13: 9780673521194

Pub. Date: 10/28/1991

Publisher: Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers, Inc.

A bestseller through six editions, Writing Fiction by novelists Janet Burroway and Elizabeth Stuckey-French explores the elements of fiction, providing practical writing techniques and concrete examples. Written in a tone that is personal and non-prescriptive, the text encourages writers to develop proficiency through each step of the writing process, offering

Overview

A bestseller through six editions, Writing Fiction by novelists Janet Burroway and Elizabeth Stuckey-French explores the elements of fiction, providing practical writing techniques and concrete examples. Written in a tone that is personal and non-prescriptive, the text encourages writers 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. Thorough and practical discussions of all the major fictional elements offer students a comprehensive guide to the craft of writing stories.  Topics include freewriting, plot, style, characterization, dialogue, time, place, imagery, and point of view. For novice writers looking to develop proficiency.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780673521194
Publisher:
Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
10/28/1991
Edition description:
Older Edition
Pages:
397
Product dimensions:
6.13(w) x 9.19(h) x 0.69(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

* indicate sections new to this edition.

 

Preface

   To Instructors: About This Book

   To Students: About the Writing Workshop

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

   “Shitty First Drafts,” Anne Lamott

   *“Why I Write,” Joan Didion

Writing Exercises

2. Seeing is Believing: Showing and Telling

Significant Detail

   Writing about Emotion

Filtering

The Active Voice

Prose Rhythm

Mechanics

   *““Big Me,” Dan Chaon

   “The Things They Carried,” Tim O’Brien

   “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?,” Joyce Carol Oates

Writing Exercises

3. Building Character: Characterization, Part I

The Direct Methods of Character Presentation

Appearance

Action

Dialogue

   Summary, Indirect, and Direct Dialogue

   Economy in Dialogue

   Characterizing Dialogue

   Other Uses ofDialogue

   Dialogue as Action

   Text and Subtext

   “No” Dialogue

   Specificity

   Format and Style

   Vernacular

Thought

   “Gryphon,” Charles Baxter

   *““Every Tongue Shall Confess,” ZZ Packer

   *““Rock Springs,”  Richard Ford

Writing Exercises

4. The Flesh Made Word: Characterization, Part II

The Indirect Methods of Character Presentation

   Authorial Interpretation

   Interpretation by Another Character

Conflict between Methods of Presentation

   The Character Journal

   The Universal Paradox

Credibility

Purpose

Complexity

Change
Reinventing Character
Creating a Group or Crowd
Character: A Summary

*“A Visit of Charity,” Eudora Welty

   “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 English Pupil,” Andrea Barrett

   * “Wickedness,” Ron Hansen

   * “Love and Hydrogen,” Jim Shepard

Writing Exercises

6. Long Ago: Fictional Time

Summary and Scene

Revising Summary and Scene

Flashback

Slow Motion

   “The Swimmer,” John Cheever

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

   “A Serious Talk,” Raymond Carver

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

Readings as Writers

   “The Use of Force,” William Carlos Williams

   “Happy Endings,” Margaret Atwood

   “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

   “Orientation,” Daniel Orozco

   “Who’s Irish?,” Gish Jen

   * “Gusev,” Anton Chekhov

Writing Exercises

9. Is and Is Not: Comparison

Types of Metaphor and Simile

Metaphoric Faults to Avoid

Allegory

Symbol

   The Symbolic Mind

   * “The First Day,” Edward P. Jones

   * “Hotel Touraine,” Robert Olen Butler

Writing Exercises

10. I Gotta Use Words When I Talk to You: Theme

Idea and Morality in Theme

How Fictional Elements Contribute to Theme

   "A Man Told Me the Story of His Life," Grace Paley

Developing Theme as You Write

   * "Winky," George Saunders

   “This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona,” Sherman Alexie
Writing Exercises

11. Play It Again, Sam: Revision

Re-Vision

Worry It and Walk Away

Criticism and the Story Workshop

Revision Questions

Further Suggestions for Revision

Examples of the Revision Process

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

Writing Exercises

Appendix A: Kinds of Fiction

 

Appendix B: Suggestions for Further Reading

 

Credits

 

Index

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