The Soul of the Full-Length Manuscript: Turning Life's Wounds into the Gift of Literary Fiction, Memoir, or Poetry

The Soul of the Full-Length Manuscript: Turning Life's Wounds into the Gift of Literary Fiction, Memoir, or Poetry

by Zelda Lockhart


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The Soul of the Full-Length Manuscript: Turning Life's Wounds into the Gift of Literary Fiction, Memoir, or Poetry by Zelda Lockhart

“This book should come with a warning label: ‘Be ready, you are going to have to go deeper than you ever imagined.’” Dorothy Allison Author of Bastard Out of Carolina

Utilize your emotional, psychological, and spiritual self to produce the first draft of a full-length manuscript. This book helps you take the stuff that has been making a mess of your life and use it instead to make art, harmonized with craft. It acts as creative companion for individuals (those with or without writing experience) as they journey through the sharing of an impactful event in life, do exercises that help them transform internal obstacles into external gifts, and then write resolution and outcome. Lockhart’s own rough drafts and excerpts from published fiction, memoir, and poetry of writers like Toi Derricotte, Helena María Viramontes, and Ta‑Nehisi Coates, along with films by writers and directors like Sherman Alexie offer kinship on the journey of unearthing and sharing a personal plot.

At times, you will feel that the book is designed to produce a new emotional, psychological, and spiritual you and that your resulting manuscript is merely the byproduct. Both are true of the design, because the purpose of art is to make yourself vulnerable about your experiences here in life—to have the courage to be vulnerable about those experiences so that you can connect with others who came here solo like you and will leave solo just like you.

And that process of sharing is transformative.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780978910266
Publisher: LaVenson Press Studios
Publication date: 03/25/2017
Pages: 276
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.62(d)

About the Author

Zelda Lockhart is currently Alumni Endowed Chair for the Department of Language and Literature at North Carolina Central University teaching creative writing,
and is director at LaVenson Press Studios: Inspiring Women to Self-Define through Writing & Publishing. She is pursuing a PhD in Expressive Art Therapies,
holds an MA in literature, and a certificate in writing, directing, and editing film from the NY Film Academy.

She lectures across the US on issues specific to the human struggle and on ways that consuming and creating literature are good for what ails us.

She welcomes visits to her websites:

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction xiii

Part 1: Jump‑Starting and Warm‑Up Prompts

1 Creating Raw Material 3

2 Warm‑Up Prompts to Reveal the Irony and Tension of Your Dichotomies 15

3 Spelunking and Internal Saboteurs 29

4 Warm‑Up Prompts to Create Raw Material from Your Relationships 40

Part 2: The Stepping Stones of the Full‑Length Manuscript

5 From the Horizon to the Shore of Your Personal Plot 63

6 Write‑Ins: How Do I Get What I Want? 78

7 Keeping Your Raw Material Organized 89

8 Research Your Psyche and Write It In 91

9 Bringing Back the Chief ’s Stone Necklace, and Other Risky Tasks 112

10 Write the Outcome Then Step Into It 124

Part 3: Shaping Your Personal Plot

11 7 Pivotal Scenes to Anchor the Overal Plot 147

12 The Macrocosmic Plot and Its Planetary Scenes 161

13 Secondary Characteristics and Their Impact on Character and Plot 173

14 Setting and Its Impact on Character and Plot 186

Part 4: Craft Elements to Bring About Literary Plot

15 Crafting Internal Character Development 194

16 The Craft of Dramatic Tension – Hope vs. Fear 199

17 Poetic Language and the Dual Purpose of Simile and Metaphor 206

18 The Craft of Scene Arranging 208

19 The Self‑Edit and the Peer Edit 216

Conclusion: Spinning Straw into Wool 231

Glossary of Shared Vocabulary 233

Bibliography 249

About the Author 251

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