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Writing Fiction


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* indicate sections new to this edition. Preface To Instructors: About This Book To Students: About the Writing Workshop1. Whatever Works: The Writing ProcessGet Started Journal Keeping Freewriting Exercises The Computer The Critic: A Caution Choosing a SubjectKeep GoingA Word about Theme "Shitty First Drafts," Anne Lamott *"Why I Write," Joan DidionWriting Exercises2. Seeing is Believing: Showing and TellingSignificant Detail Writing about EmotionFilteringThe Active VoiceProse RhythmMechanics *""Big Me," Dan Chaon "The Things They Carried," Tim O'Brien "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?," Joyce Carol OatesWriting Exercises3. Building Character: Characterization, Part IThe Direct Methods of Character PresentationAppearanceActionDialogue Summary, Indirect, and Direct Dialogue Economy in Dialogue Characterizing Dialogue Other Uses of Dialogue Dialogue as Action Text and Subtext "No" Dialogue Specificity Format and Style VernacularThought "Gryphon," Charles Baxter *""Every Tongue Shall Confess," ZZ Packer *""Rock Springs," Richard FordWriting Exercises4. The Flesh Made Word: Characterization, Part IIThe Indirect Methods of Character Presentation Authorial Interpretation Interpretation by Another CharacterConflict between Methods of Presentation The Character Journal The Universal ParadoxCredibility PurposeComplexityChange
Reinventing Character
Creating a Group or Crowd
Character: A Summary *""A Visit of Charity," Eudora Welty "Bullet in the Brain," Tobias Wolff *"Tandolfo the Great," Richard BauschWriting Exercises5. Far, Far Away: Fictional PlacePlace and AtmosphereHarmony and Conflict Between Character and PlacePlace and Character
Place and EmotionSymbolic and Suggestive Place
Alien and Familiar PlaceAn Exercise in Place * ""The English Pupil," Andrea Barrett * "Wickedness," Ron Hansen * "Love and Hydrogen," Jim ShepardWriting Exercises6. Long Ago: Fictional TimeSummary and SceneRevising Summary and SceneFlashbackSlow Motion "The Swimmer," John Cheever "Mrs. Dutta Writes a Letter," Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni "A Serious Talk," Raymond CarverWriting Exercises7. The Tower and the Net: Story Form, Plot, and StructureConflict, Crisis, and ResolutionThe Arc of the StoryPatterns of PowerConnection and DisconnectionStory Form as a Check MarkStory and PlotThe Short Story and the NovelReadings as Writers "The Use of Force," William Carlos Williams "Happy Endings," Margaret Atwood "Everything That Rises Must Converge," Flannery O'ConnorWriting Exercises8. Call Me Ishmael: Point of ViewWho Speaks? Third Person Second Person First PersonTo Whom? The Reader Another Character The Self Interior Monologue Stream of ConsciousnessIn What Form?At What Distance?Consistency: A Final Caution "Orientation," Daniel Orozco "Who's Irish?," Gish Jen * "Gusev," Anton ChekhovWriting Exercises9. Is and Is Not: ComparisonTypes of Metaphor and SimileMetaphoric Faults to AvoidAllegorySymbol The Symbolic Mind
* "The First Day," Edward P. Jones * "Hotel Touraine," Robert Olen ButlerWriting Exercises10. I Gotta Use Words When I Talk to You: ThemeIdea and Morality in ThemeHow Fictional Elements Contribute to Theme "A Man Told Me the Story of His Life," Grace PaleyDeveloping Theme as You Write * "Winky," George Saunders "This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona," Sherman Alexie
Writing Exercises11. Play It Again, Sam: RevisionRe-VisionWorry It and Walk AwayCriticism and the Story WorkshopRevision QuestionsFurther Suggestions for RevisionExamples of the Revision Process * "Notes on Keith" and draft of "Keith," Ron CarlsonWriting ExercisesAppendix A: Kinds of Fiction Appendix B: Suggestions for Further Reading Credits Index

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The most widely used and respected text in its field, Writing Fiction, 7e guides the novice story writer from first inspiration to final revision.

About the Author

Janet Burroway lectures at Florida State Univerity Susan Weinberg lectures at Appalachian State University

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