Synopses & Reviews
This intermediate/advanced guide to writing fiction emphasizes the revision process and uses craft discussions, exercises, and diverse examples to show the artistic implications of writing choices. This book addresses the major elements of fiction. Numerous examples, questions, and exercises throughout the book help readers reflect upon and explore writing possibilities. The mini-anthology includes a variety of interesting, illustrative, and diverse storiesNorth American and international, contemporary and classic, realistic and experimental.
Engages the reader in a conversation of ideas about writing, to develop writers' senses of their own art and craft, and to help people make the link between the process of drafting a particular story and the process of their own development as writers. Coverage includes intermediate/advanced approaches to character, point of view, story structure, handling time in fiction, subject matter, setting and detail, research and societal context, style and dialogue, and revision. Amateur creative writers.
Table of Contents
I. Intermediate and Advanced Approaches to Fiction-Writing. 1. Developing and Complicating Characters.
Story analysis and questions: “Drinking Coffee Elsewhere.”
Connecting character to story.
Motivation and action.
Active and passive main characters.
Relating characters to each other.
Story analysis and questions: “The Forest.”
Sympathetic and unsympathetic characters.
Rethinking “heroes,“ “victims,“ and “villains.”
Restraint in writing emotion.
Story analysis and questions: “Powder.”
Revision: Bringing characters into focus.
2. Third-Person POVs and Degrees of Omniscience.
The centrality of POV.
Real-world POV decisions.
Complicating POV: beyond first, second, and third.
Aspects of third-person POV.
Story analysis and questions: “The Niece.”
Variations of common POV choices.
Close third-person POV (third person limited).
Discerning third-person POV (third person flexible).
Degrees of omniscience.
Story analysis and questions: “Inferno I, 32.”
Effectively breaking POV rules.
Story analysis and questions: “Gooseberries.”
Revision: Making subtle POV shifts.
3. The Uses of First and Second Person.
Stories that require first-person narrators.
Aspects of first-person POV.
Motives for telling the story.
Understanding the past.
Story analysis and questions: “The Turkey Season.”
The versatility of second person.
Disguised first person.
Direct address and second-person narrators.
Story analysis and questions: “Trauma Plate.”
Revision: Making major POV changes.
4. Plot, Narrative Drive, and Alternative Story Structures.
Reclaiming the pleasures of plot.
Classical plot structures.
Plots and subplots.
Story analysis and questions: “Father.”
Narrative drive and meaning.
Forward and backward movement.
Actual and emotional plots.
Story analysis and questions: “Photograph of Luisa.”
Advancing plot through dialogue and exposition.
Plot in literary and genre writing.
Alternate and experimental structures.
Non-linear story structures.
Image as structure.
Story analysis and questions: “Graffiti.”
Revision: How structure emerges through multiple revisions.
Plot and structure exercises.
5. Time in Fiction: Scene, Summary, Flashbacks, Backstory, and Transitions.
Setting the story's time span.
Scene and summary in draft and revision.
Action, description, and dialogue.
Summary within scenes.
Story analysis and questions: “The Eve of the Spirit Festival.”
Moving through time.
White space and transitional phrases.
Flashbacks and backstory.
Story analysis and questions: “The Rooster and the Dancing Girl.”
Revision: Experimenting with time.
6. Discovering the Story's