"This is the most practical, hard-nosed, generous, direct, and useful guide to writing fiction." Brad WatsonFinally, a truly creativeand hilariousguide to creative writing, full of encouragement and sound advice. Provocative and reassuring, nurturing and wise, The Lie That Tells a Truth is essential to writers in general, fiction writers in particular, beginning writers, serious writers, and anyone facing a blank page.John Dufresne, teacher and the acclaimed author of Love Warps the Mind a Little and Deep in the Shade of Paradise, demystifies the writing process. Drawing upon the wisdom of literature's great craftsmen, Dufresne's lucid essays and diverse exercises initiate the reader into the tools, processes, and techniques of writing: inventing compelling characters, developing a voice, creating a sense of place, editing your own words. Where do great ideas come from? How do we recognize them? How can language capture them? In his signature comic voice, Dufresne answers these questions and more in chapters such as "Writing Around the Block," "Plottery," and "The Art of Abbreviation." Dufresne demystifies the writing process, showing that while the idea of writing may be overwhelming, the act of writing is simplicity itself.
|Publisher:||Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
John Dufresne is the author of ten previous books, including two fiction writing guides. A professor in the MFA program at Florida International University, he lives in Dania Beach.
Table of Contents
|Getting in Shape||3|
|As a Matter of Fact||11|
|Writing Around the Block||21|
|Becoming a Writer||31|
|Pick Yourself Up||47|
|Sitting Alone in a Quiet Room||57|
|Getting Black on White||69|
|Doing it Again (And Again [And Again])||81|
|The Meaning of Life is to See||95|
|Getting Her Up the Tree, Getting Her Down: Beginnings and Endings||119|
|The Queen Died of Grief: Plot||133|
|The Heart of Fiction: Character||169|
|The Method: Character||183|
|"Let's Talk," He Said: Dialogue||197|
|May I Ask Who's Calling, Please? Point of View||221|
|You Can't Do Anything If You're Nowhere: Place||243|
|The Art of Abbreviation: The Very Short Story||257|
|Reading to Write||267|
|The Writer Reads||273|
|Small Craft Warnings||289|
|Go Forth and Write||297|
What People are Saying About This
Frank and friendly talk about the approach to and the craft of fiction....a welcome companion.
This is the writing guide I've been waiting for.
An engaging covers-all-the bases guide—sometimes moving, often funny, full of goodwill and good sense.
I used to think that the only books of this kind worth reading were John Gardner's and Janet Burroway's. I've made room on my shelf for Dufresne's.
Dufresne makes it all good fun, from first to last, from guggle to zatch. See for yourself.
With uncommon candor, grace, insight, and clarity, Dufresne unmasks the Writer's Muse, allowing...a vivid and rich exploration of the creative process.
Dufresne's literary intelligence shines through every line....I'll be directing people to this book for years to come. It's wonderful.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is my favorite text on writing, hands down. Dufresne gives reasons for the building blocks of fiction and he makes the process so fun to read. He's also very good at guilting one into writing more.
Toward the end of the year, most of my reading time was devoted to class reading, including this semester's craft text, The Lie That Tells a Truth. As fiction writing guides go, I'd say that this was neither the best nor the worst I've ever read. The exercises included at the end of most chapters are inventive; I managed to get some good writing out of quite a few of them. Dufresne tackles some topics I've never seen addressed books in similar books, such as the use of "eye" dialect and the importance of reference books. But his examples of technique mostly come from his own writing, and while I like confidence, often Dufresne's tone makes his "advice" seem like a stern lecture.