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Writing Fiction by Janet Burroway
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Writing Fiction

by Janet Burroway

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988118,685 (4.06)4
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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
As a creative writing textbook, this is one of the best that I've come across. Having said that, it suffers from the same thing that I've come across in various writing books and classes: the idea that genre fiction and kidlit is someow inferior to literary fiction. One genre is not necessarily more sophisticated, more challenging to write, more worthy of our time. They're just different. And just once, I'd like a creative writing book that acknowledges that. ( )
  bucketofrhymes | Dec 13, 2017 |
A great overview of the fiction writing process, chock full of awesomely teachable example stories. I've been teaching out of this book for years. ( )
  arnzen | Mar 8, 2015 |
Rarely have I encountered a writing text so dense in wisdom, so practical, and so philosophically astute. I love how Burroway segues from specific suggestions to illustrative examples from literature to a unified, comprehensive and comprehendible theory of how fiction works.

"Although these are tricks that can be taught and learned, they partake of the essential nature of creativity, in which several elements are joined to produce not merely a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts, but a whole that is something altogether other. At the conception of an embryo or a short story, there occurs a conjunction of two unlike things, whether cells or ideas, that have never been joined before. Around this conjunction other cells, other ideas accumulate in a deliberate pattern. That pattern is the unique personality of the creature, and if the pattern does not cohere, it miscarries or is stillborn." 312

Because I almost exclusively teach creative nonfiction, and because I write both fiction and creative nonfiction, I found myself looking through Burroway's observations about fiction to the fundamentals of good story-telling, and through craft to observations about our fundamental nature as created beings and as creators. Just an excellent text! ( )
  ElizabethAndrew | May 13, 2013 |
Clearly this book is written for the beginning English major in undergrad; the author herself even says so. Anyone outside of this demographic probably won't care or will grown bored. I fell into the latter group. While there were many kernals of good advice, it was all information I had heard before. Good reminders, perhaps; beyond that, it offered little more for me.

Overall, this is a good textbook for the undergrad English major. I would suggest being cautious with the author's opinions, however. There are few things I despise more in English craft books than "This is the way to do this and it is the only way" which Burroway alludes to from time to time. Which is ironic considering that the first chapter is entitled "Whatever It Takes" and is the same chapter in which the author tells the reader to "keep a journal," freewrite, and so forth. While these may be good practices to try out, they're not for every writer. ( )
  chrisblocker | Mar 30, 2013 |
Non Fiction
  debathome | Jan 31, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0321117956, Paperback)

The most widely used and respected book on writing fiction, Writing Fiction guides the writer from first inspiration to final revision. Supported by an abundance exercises, this guide/anthology explores and integrates the elements of fiction while offering practical techniques and concrete examples. A focus on the writing process in its entirety provides a comprehensive guide to writing fiction, approaching distinct elements in separate chapters while building on what has been covered earlier. Topics include free-writing to revision, plot, style, characterization, dialogue, atmosphere, imagery, and point of view. An anthology of diverse and contemporary short stories followed by suggestions for discussion and writing exercises, illustrates concepts while offering variety in pacing and exposure to this increasingly popular form. The book also discusses key issues including writing workshops, using autobiography as a basis for fiction, using action in stories, using dialogue, and maintaining point of view. The sixth edition also features more short short stories than any previous edition and includes quotation boxes that offer advice and inspirational words from established writers on a wide range of topics--such as writing from experience, story structure, openings and endings, and revision. For those interested in developing their creative writing skills.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:29 -0400)

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