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Creating Fiction: Instruction and Insights from Teachers of the Associated Writing Programs Paperback – March 15, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-1884910517 ISBN-10: 1884910513

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Creating Fiction: Instruction and Insights from Teachers of the Associated Writing Programs + The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 294 pages
  • Publisher: Story Press (March 15, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1884910513
  • ISBN-13: 978-1884910517
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #586,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Unable to secure a coveted spot in a creative-writing program? Unwilling to make the life changes necessary to do so? Creating Fiction is a fiction-writing course from some of those programs' top instructors. Among the finest of these 23 never-before-published essays about fiction writing--each of which is accompanied by a few writing exercises--are those by Jane Smiley on revision, John Barth on plot, Carrie Brown on the writing of magic realism, and Julie Checkoway on "The Lingerie Theory of Literature" ("The fundamental secret ... to the effective ending," Checkoway confides, "is to practice the restraint one sees in those Victoria's Secret lingerie ads--enough coyness to tantalize, enough enigma to tease, but never, ever, too much naked abandon").

And Philip Gerard, author of Hatteras Light and instructor at UNC-Wilmington, has written a standout piece about structuring the novel and story collection. "It astonishes me," says Gerard, "that intelligent people who would not hold a wedding, plant a garden, or even slap together a utility shed without exhaustive planning nonetheless regard the novel as a spontaneous literary event that just happens onto the page." Of course, there are many novelists who would disagree with Gerard about such planning, but Gerard is not advocating writing an outline and sticking to it. "The central paradox of writing the novel," he says, is that "you have to know where it's going, but when it speaks to you, shows you a better direction, you have to be ready to abandon your plan and listen to the story." Gerard also has unorthodox ideas on the organizing of story collections. While most writers obsess over story arrangement, Gerard's approach is more relaxed. "Enough readers read at random within the collection," he advises, "that worrying too much about the order of stories may distract the writer and editor from more important considerations." And whatever you do, don't be overwhelmed by the concept of writing a book. "Nobody writes a book," says Gerard. "What you write every day is a piece of a book, a fragment, a scene." --Jane Steinberg --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Julie Checkoway is the head of the creative writing program at the University of Georgia and was the 1998-1999 president of the Associated Writing Programs. She is the author of Little Sister: Searching for the Shadow World of Chinese Women.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By FictionAddiction.NET on September 7, 2001
Imagine having 23 professional writing coaches at your disposal - each instructor teaching the fundamentals of writing they've perfected over the years. "Creating Fiction" is the best of nationwide creative writing programs taught by respected novelists and short story writers.
Established authors offer their expertise in these informative essays. Every entry ends with related exercises pertaining to the writing elements you've just learned. In fact, you'll find over 100 writing exercises taught in expensive workshops.
These writing essays tackle the challenging aspects of your writing venture. This in-depth guide to writing covers:
* Thinking About Fiction
* Characterization
* Point of View
* Plot, Structure and Narrative
* Style and Voice
* Revising, Editing and Marketing
Every category provides a variety of essays, offering several unique perspectives to help you perfect your craft.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Betsy Finesilver on December 4, 2008
Creating Fiction is very usable for students and teachers of fiction writing. The primary strength of this book is that the authors give concrete instruction for developing skills as a fiction writer, rather than vague, abstract advice. They tell the reader what works (and what doesn't work) in their classrooms.

Every essay contains examples from classic and/or contemporary published writing--from Shakespeare to T.C. Boyle. Thus, teachers will easily be able to pair these essays, or lessons on the writing theories and practices contained within the essays, with reading assignments. Also, every essay ends with a list of writing exercises that encourage the reader to practice the theories or advice. Teachers and students will be able to use the essays and exercises effectively learn how fiction functions, and apply this knowledge to their development as writers.

Also, because talented fiction writers wrote the essays, they are extremely enjoyable to read. These discussions of fiction theory, which in other books may feel heavy and overdone, are very approachable in Creating Fiction. Undergraduate students (and other beginning writers) will not be frightened or overwhelmed by this book.
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I'm enjoying reading these essays about the craft of writing as I pursue an MFA in Creative Writing. This book, as well as Writing Creative Non-Fiction, have become my Bibles as I experiment with my essays using different literary techniques and getting away from a chronological structure. I'd highly recommend this book for anyone interested in learning how to write better. Clear essays, no gibberish, little academic snobbery from this wealth of professional writers.
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By Waldemar Serrano on April 24, 2009
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I have a Friend who is a writer she recommended this book for the activities/homeworks you get at the end of each chapter, it help her enormously when she was in college, so I decided to get it, I'm just starting with the book but the first chapter alone gave me a perspective of different views of a reader/writer.
I will recommended for beginner writers, or for someone a little challenge on his/hers writers skills.
Book came in a very good condition, new.
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By b00kll0vr on April 20, 2014
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I bought this as a gift for an aspiring writer.. They absolutely loved it.. I dont know much about the business - but the book looked put together well and the recipient enjoyed it.
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