ISBN-10:
039332124X
ISBN-13:
9780393321241
Pub. Date:
11/28/2000
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Making Shapely Fiction

Making Shapely Fiction

by Jerome Stern
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Overview

A deft analysis and appreciation of fiction—what makes it work and what can make it fail.


Here is a book about the craft of writing fiction that is thoroughly useful from the first to the last page—whether the reader is a beginner, a seasoned writer, or a teacher of writing. You will see how a work takes form and shape once you grasp the principles of momentum, tension, and immediacy. "Tension," Stern says, "is the mother of fiction. When tension and immediacy combine, the story begins." Dialogue and action, beginnings and endings, the true meaning of "write what you know," and a memorable listing of don'ts for fiction writers are all covered. A special section features an Alphabet for Writers: entries range from Accuracy to Zigzag, with enlightening comments about such matters as Cliffhangers, Point of View, Irony, and Transitions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393321241
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 11/28/2000
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 336,447
Product dimensions: 8.22(w) x 5.38(h) x 0.78(d)

About the Author

Jerome Stern, a professor of English and popular culture, is the author of an acclaimed book on writing, Making Shapely Fiction. His incisive monologues are regularly heard on National Public Radio.

Table of Contents

What This Book Does and Why

Acknowledgements

PART I. THE SHAPES OF EICTION

Facade

Juggling

Iceberg

Last Lap

Trauma

Specimen

Gathering

A Day in the Life

Onion

Journey

Visitation

Aha!

Bear at the Door

Snapshot

Blue Moon

Explosion

PART II. A CAUTIONARY INTERLUDE

Write What You Know

Don't This: A Short Guide to What Not to Do

PART III. FROM ACCURACY TO ZIGZAG: AN ALPHABET FOR WRITERS OF FICTION

Accuracy

Advice

Allegory

Allusion

Ambiguity

Anti-hero

Archetype

Atmosphere

Avant-garde

Bathos

Beginnings

Catharsis

Character

Cliche

Cliff-hanger

Coincidence

Comedy

Convention

Crisis

Description

Dialect

Dialogue

Diction

Didacticism

Documents/Diaries/Letters

Endings

Epigram

Epilogue

Epiphany

Episode

Exposition

Fable

Fairy Tale

Farce

Flashback

Formula

Frame Story

Freytag's Pyramid

Genre

Grotesque

Hero

Imagery

Imagination

Immediacy

Interior Monologue

Intrigant

Irony

Legend

Local Color

Melodrama

Metafiction

Metaphor and Simile

Mise-en-scene

Motif

Myth

Names

Narrative

Narrator

Naturalism

Negative Positive Knowledge

Novel

Objective Correlative

Parable

Parody

Pathetic Fallacy

Picaro

Places and Place Names

Plot

Poetic Justice

Point of View

Position

Premise

Profanity/Obscenity

Psychic Distance

Reading

Realism

Red Herring

Resolution

Revision

Roman a Clef

Romance

Satire

Scene

Science Fiction

Sentimentality

Sex

Short Novel

Short Story

Showing and Telling

Stereotype

Stories within Stories

Stream of Consciousness

Structure

Style

Subtlety

Suspense

Suspension of Disbelief

Symbolism

Tension

Texture

Theme

Title

Tour de Force

Transitions

Trust Your Material

Voice

Workshops

Zigzag

PART IV. READABLES: WHERE TO LEARN MORE

Customer Reviews

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Making Shapely Fiction 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Mr_Eternal More than 1 year ago
Making Shapely Fiction is an informative and well written lesson book. If you want to learn the basics about writing fiction, this book is a perfect place to start. Stern is a writer who knows how to keep things interesting and informative at the same time. His examples are short and he gets to the point quickly, which is good given there are many lessons throughout the book. While Stern seems to have made his own vocabulary, the definitions are what is most important. Sometimes Stern stresses unimportant points and ignores points that seem very interesting, but overall he does a good job at getting across good information.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a writer and a teacher of creative writing at the college level. I have found this book an invaluable, witty, and well organized guide. Because I tend to reject prescriptive or overly new-agey approaches to the craft of writing, this book's literate and clear-eyed approach worked excellently for me. My students loved it too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read many books on writing and this is easily the most helpful. Clear, concise, well-organized and witty.
miss_dobie More than 1 year ago
Of all the books I've read on how to write, and there have been many, this is easily one of the most helpful. It is clear, concise, well-organized and very easy to understand. It has helped me tremendously and I highly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Order arrived promptly and in great condition, but I haven't actually started reading the stories yet.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jonathan Velasquez More than 1 year ago
I downloaded this Nook and it doesn't work. Tried on Android, Mac and PC.