Writing In General And The Short Story In Particular

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Overview

Here is a practical guide to writing short stories that explains all the essential techniques of fiction - from character and plot to flashback and foreshadowing - in a way that is both understandable and useful to the beginning writer. Long considered a classic in the field, WRITING IN GENERAL is the product of a lifetime of reflection by one of our best literary minds.

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Writing in General and the Short Story in Particular

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Overview

Here is a practical guide to writing short stories that explains all the essential techniques of fiction - from character and plot to flashback and foreshadowing - in a way that is both understandable and useful to the beginning writer. Long considered a classic in the field, WRITING IN GENERAL is the product of a lifetime of reflection by one of our best literary minds.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“When [Hills] writes about writing, we should all pay close attention.”—Richard Yates

“Admirable, wise, and comradely.”—John Leggett

"Every aspiring fiction writer ought to read this."—WRITER'S DIGEST

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618082346
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/1/2000
  • Edition description: None
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 286,626
  • Product dimensions: 5.36 (w) x 8.16 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction vii
The Short Story, as against the Novel and the Sketch 1
Character and Action 5
Fixed Action, as against Moving Action 7
As the Story Begins and Ends 10
Loss of the Last Chance to Change 13
Recognizing the Crucial 14
Naming the Moment 17
"Epiphany" as a Literary Term 19
The Inevitability of Retrospect 24
Enhancing the Interaction of Character and Plot 26
Techniques of Foreshadowing 27
Foreshadowing and Suspense 33
Techniques of Suspense 37
Mystery and Curiosity 37
Conflict and Uncertainty 38
Tension and Anticipation 40
"Agreement" in Character and Action 43
Movement of Character 45
The Character Shift, as against Movement of Character 47
Slick Fiction, as against Quality Fiction 49
Moving Characters, as against Fixed Characters 53
The Series Regulars, as against the Guest Stars 56
Types of Character 58
Types as Exceptions 61
Type Characters, as against Stock Characters 62
The Dichotomous Stereotype 65
Differentiating from Types 67
Knowing a Character 70
Motivation 74
The Stress Situation 76
The Importance and Unimportance of Plot 80
Plot in a Short Story, as against Plot in a Novel 82
Selection in Plot 86
Scenes 92
Plot Structure 95
Beginning 98
Middle 104
Ending 106
Sequence and Causality 108
The Frame, as against the Flashback 109
Pattern in Plot 112
Choice as Technique 117
Point-of-View Methods 120
Limitations and Advantages in Point of View 124
When Point of View is "Wrong" 128
The "Question" of Point of View 130
Point of View and "Involvement" 135
The "Moved" Character and Point of View 140
The Focusing Power of Point of View 145
Monologues, and the Pathological First Person 149
Irony and Point of View 154
Setting 158
Style 162
Theme 165
The Short Story and the New Criticism 171
The American Short Story "Today" 178
Afterword: Writing in General 191
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2003

    A must read!

    Quite simply one of the best books ever written on any subject. A must read for anyone interested in better appreciating and/or writing short stories.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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