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Finding Your Writer's Voice: A Guide to Creative Fiction Paperback – December 15, 1996

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (December 15, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312151284
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312151287
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #351,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Voice is the thing that makes one writer's work different from another's. Every writer has a voice and a personal way of telling a story that reflects his or her life experience, sense of humor, and way of seeing the world. This book will help writers find their own voice-helping them move from raw outpourings to polished prose. The authors, writing professors at San Francisco State University and the University of California at Berkeley Extension, respectively, have included some exercises to help writers tap into their personal voice. For stories to be good, argue the authors, that voice must be true, powerful, and raw. The authors have focused on a writing skill that is very hard to teach, and they have done so successfully. The ideas they present are good, and the exercises should help writers get at the heart of their feelings and passions. Still, this book is useful only for libraries that serve a large population of writers.
Lisa J. Cochenet, Winfield P.L., Ill.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Does everyone in America want to be a writer? Publishers seem to think so, witness the never-ending flow from the presses of books on writing. (If publishers really do have their fingers on the pulse of America, buy stock in computer discs and spiral-bound notebooks.) Interestingly, most of these books, like Frank and Wall's, emphasize the creative aspect, not the mundane business end, of writing. Frank and Wall do, however, take a refreshingly novel approach to the subject of encouraging the beginning creative writer. Focus on voice, they suggest, for it will be what distinguishes you from the pack (of other writers buying such books as this). Happily, Frank and Wall practice what they preach in their own well-wrought book, whose voice is frank and objective but warmly conversational. The many exercises are intriguing and imaginative. Pat Monaghan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

The fiction of Thaisa Frank, according to the New York Times, works by "a tantalizing sense of indirection." Of her debut novel HEIDEGGER'S GLASSES Dan Chaon says "This is stunning work, full of mystery and strange tenderness. Thaisa Frank has written one of the most compelling stories of the Nazi Regime since D.M. Thomas's PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION. It is a book that will haunt you." Jim Moret of The Huffington Post has called it a "tour de force." And Publishers Weekly's starred review described Frank's vision of the Holocaust original and startling." Before publication, foreign rights were sold to Italy, France, Spain, Norway, Holland, Portugal, Poland, Brazil, Mainland Chine and Taiwan.

HEIDEGGER'S GLASSES opens during the end of World War II in a failing Germany coming apart at its seams. The Third Reich's strong reliance on the occult and its obsession with the astral plane has led to the formation of an underground compound of scribes--translators responsible for answering letters written to those eventually killed in the concentration camps.

Into this covert compound comes a letter written by eminent philosopher Martin Heidegger to his optometrist, a man now lost in the dying thralls of Auschwitz. How will the scribes answer this letter? The presence of Heidegger's words--one simple letter in a place filled with letters--sparks a series of events that will ultimately threaten the safety and well-being of the entire compound.

Part love story, part thriller, part meditation on how the dead are remembered and history is presented, with threads of Heidegger's philosophy woven throughout, the novel evocatively illustrates the Holocaust through an almost dreamlike state. Thaisa Frank deftly reconstructs the landscape of Nazi Germany from an entirely original vantage point.

According to Booklist, HEIDEGGER'S GLASSES is written in the spare minimal style that won Thaisa Frank admiration for her short story collections, among them A BRIEF HISTORY OF CAMOUFLAGE and SLEEPING IN VELVET. She is the co-author of FINDNG YOUR WRITER'S VOICE, which is used in MFA programs and has taught in the graduate programs of San Francisco State University, The University of San Francisco, and Honors English at the University of California at Berkeley. She has conducted numerous writing workshop and written essays, including a recent Afterward in Viking/Penguin's VOLTAIRE.

Frank originally wrote the first 16 pages over twelve years ago, and discarded them because she didn't think of herself as a novelist. The 16 pages kept popping out--under tax forms, her child's lunch box--as if on marionette strings. When she got the galleys for the book she realized those 16 pages were the DNA of the book and the imagination has phalanges that reach far out into history. You can read about this on her blog and find out more about her at www.thaisafrank.com.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
I bought "Finding your writer's voice" by Thaisa Frank and Dorothy Wall together with "Finding your voice" by Les Edgerton. I have to say that the books do complement each other. I did read the book by Les Edgerton first and enjoyed this so much that it was impossible not to compare. "Finding your writer's voice" is a no nonsense book. It delivers the message pretty straight. It has good balance between theory and practical exercises. It's also filled with many examples from both writers and from their students or other famous writers. In the beginning the book came off as somewhat New Age-like to me in the way they talk about voice. But surpassing that, it's a very interesting and educational read. After finishing Les Edgerton's book, I started directly on this one. That was a bit of a cold shower after reading a, at times, quite humorous book about voice and the craft of writing. The somewhat dark colored pages of "Finding your writer's voice," the not really inspiring layout and the lack of knowing who the "I" in each and every different part of the book is (Thaisa Frank or Dorothy Wall) made it at times a bit of a struggle to finish the book. But in the end I have to say, it's well worth it in doing so. Alongside "Finding your voice" Thaisa Frank's and Dorothy Wall's "Finding your writer's voice" is spot on finding that unique voice. Getting you to write, and making sure editors will have a serious interest in your work.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Susan Hoffman on September 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
The fine pitch of this book makes it a must read for any writer. The book has many exercises and insights. Wall is a writing consultant as well as a writer and the book reflects a solid sense of how to put the books' insights into practice and yet retain the individual writer's lyricism. I highly recommend it.
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By Kimdkus on June 13, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Writers, get this book!! It will help you find your writer's voice. It helped me to become a better writer
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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "trigger_books" on December 12, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is a book for those who wish to practice and improve their writing creativity. There are excercises the authors take you through step by step building the skills to find and develop your own creative voice.
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13 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 8, 1996
Format: Hardcover
I have found myself teaching writing Ð or, rather, teaching ghost-writing Ð a great deal lately. The art of ghost-writing is listening and channelling: capturing the "author's" voice well enough that the text on the page sounds more like their true core than their own spoken voice.

You can also do this for yourself. That's what Thaisa Frank and Dorothy Wall teach, in pithy exercises. I have used this book, and I find that I keep recommending it to aspiring writers and ghosts... as a way to jump-start the listening process.

Why do I "only" give it an 8? I guess I am a bit disheartened that a book like this is necessary. Making your voice strong... so that it even comes through when you write... should be a natural gift, something we can all count on. Those who feel shy about writing, online or on a page, will find a great deal of value here.
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