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The Making Of A Story by Alice Laplante
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The Making Of A Story (edition 2009)

by Alice Laplante

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154477,562 (4.27)4
Member:RandyMetcalfe
Title:The Making Of A Story
Authors:Alice Laplante
Info:WW Norton (2009), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 512 pages
Collections:Read in 2013, Your library
Rating:****
Tags:home, r2013

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The Making of a Story: A Norton Guide to Writing Fiction and Nonfiction by Alice LaPlante

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Good exercises to get the creative juices flowing after several years of being blocked. ( )
  libheroine | Aug 6, 2013 |
Norton Guides are typically used as textbooks, often in introductory college classes. They tend to be well-produced, expertly written, and extremely practical as pedagogical tools (usually with enough flexibility to enable an instructor to take them in different directions as the need arises). The Making of a Story by Alice LaPlante meets all of these points and more. Over fourteen chapters it presents a sensible survey of key points in the production of both fiction and creative non-fiction, including chapters on characterisation, narration, point of view, dialogue, and more. While each chapter is useful, I would say that the penultimate chapter on revision, “Learning to Fail Better”, is the most useful of all, not least because of its recognition of the limitations of the (typical) workshop method of teaching creative writing.

Each chapter contains a set of two or more exercises to help reinforce the main points of the chapter. These exercises are very well constructed, neither too lengthy (they could easily be done within a class) nor too arch (they don’t seem excessively contrived). Some draw upon whatever writing the participant may have been doing in his or her own time, but most are standalone exercises, which is better.

A surprisingly useful component of The Making of Story is the “Reading as a Writer” selections at the end of each chapter. These consist of short stories or creative non-fiction pieces that illustrate the points being made in the chapter. They are exceptionally well-chosen, everything from Raymond Carver to John Cheever to Joan Didion, Denis Johnson, Lorrie Moore, Anne Lamott, Francine Prose, Barbara Ehrenreich, Tim O’Brien, Ernest Hemingway and more. Well done Norton for getting permission for the inclusion of so many fine examples. In themselves, they make this a valuable collection. And as part of the greater whole, they help make this a guide I am happy to recommend. ( )
  RandyMetcalfe | Feb 25, 2013 |
Absolutely brilliant. It's the best "how to write" book for beginners that I've found. The book is very big because it contains full-length story examples. I don't know of any other book that does this, and it really helps with understanding and learning. But the best part is the text itself, which is a marvel of clarity and wisdom. No formulas here, just common sense and information about the nuts and bolts of story-making. Highly recommended. ( )
  BobNolin | Oct 1, 2012 |
A writing course in a book, covering all the bases. Each chapter covers an important topic, such as point of view, with an extensive discussion, a set of exercises (and samples of student work for each exercise), and several reading selections relevant to the topic. So you have your lectures, your exercises, and your anthology all in one neat package.

This book carefully examines standard writing advice (e.g. show, don't tell) and explodes myths propagated by lazy writing teachers. The chapters on narration and point of view are especially valuable. Also, there is a continuing emphasis not just on fiction but on creative non-fiction.
2 vote ajsomerset | Aug 23, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393061647, Hardcover)

A beloved writing teacher compiles fifteen years of her expertise, exercises, and examples in a new primer for creative writers.

The Making of a Story is a fresh and inspiring guide to the basics of creative writing—both fiction and creative nonfiction. Its hands-on, completely accessible approach walks writers through each stage of the creative process, from the initial triggering idea to the revision of the final manuscript. It is unique in combing the three main aspects of creative writing instruction: process (finding inspiration, getting ideas on the page), craft (specific techniques like characterization), and anthology (learning by reading masters of the form). Succinct, clear definitions of basic terms of fiction are accompanied by examples, including excerpts from masterpieces of short fiction and essays as well as contemporary novels. A special highlight is Alice LaPlante's systematic debunking of many of the so-called rules of creative writing. This book is perfect for writers working alone as well as for creative writing classes, both introductory and advanced.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:48:33 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"A beloved writing teacher compiles fifteen years of her expertise, exercises, and examples in a new primer for creative writers on the art of fiction and nonfiction"--P. [4] of cover.

(summary from another edition)

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W.W. Norton

Two editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 0393061647, 0393337081

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