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A Passion for Narrative: A Guide for Writing Fiction (1993)
by Jack Hodgins
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I've used this book in my university-level Creative Writing classes for 16 years, and over the years I've not received a desk copy of any other text that can take its place. I supplement it with John Gardner's On Becoming a Novelist, but it remains the concrete foundation in all of my second-year courses. Why? Because Jack shares his experience and opinions on all of the most important issues facing any writer, but he never insists on his theory or method. Instead, by presenting a rich array of quotations expressing the diversity of methods available to the beginning writer--and even for the seasoned writer who needs to stand back and freshen their perspective--Jack helps you to explore and find your own voice and learn to see with your own eyes. This book is not a manual for genre fiction. It frequently points out what the recipe for genre fiction might be, but it always prioritizes literary fiction. Like Gardner, Jack tries to help you create fiction you can be proud of; fiction that is deep, complex, and if lightning strikes, perhaps even original. ( )
This book is not intended to persuade you to take up writing novels or short stories – “It’s going to be a lot of work,” Jack Hodgins warns. Nor will it tell you how to market your stories. But it will take you through the problems facing any fiction writer and show you how some of the best writers in English have solved them. The chapters are clear and comprehensive: Finding Your Own Stories; One Good Sentence After Another – on the skills of writing well; Setting; Character – how to make your characters come alive; Plot; Structure – “The Architecture of Story”; Point of View and Voice; Metaphors, Symbols and Allusions; Revising – an all-important chapter that also deals with the impact of writing on a computer; The Story of a Story – where Jack Hodgins talks of his own experience with one of his most famous stories; and the final chapter, And Now What? – Creating Your Own Workshop, which builds on the fact that every chapter in the book contains writing exercises to help you work away at home at “the mysterious business of writing fiction.” As an award-winning novelist and short-story writer Jack Hodgins is uniquely qualified to preach what he practises. As a trained teacher, he has been giving creative lessons for thirty years, at high schools and universities and to writers’ summer schools. In recent years his creative writing courses at the University of Victoria have become discreetly famous. Now, anyone who buys this book can share in the experience of learning fiction-writing from a master. With its scores of examples of first-class writing this lively, truly fascinating book will almost certainly make you be atter writer; it is guaranteed to make you a better reader.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)808.3Literature By Topic Rhetoric and anthologies Rhetoric of fiction
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