A Passion for Narrative: A Guide for Writing Fiction

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McClelland & Stewart, 2001 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 318 pages
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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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A passion for narrative: a guide for writing fiction

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Described as "a book of inspiration and practical exercises for fiction writers,'' this work examines all the aspects of writing, from getting started through setting, character, plot, structure ... Read full review

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About the author (2001)

Jack Hodgins was born and raised on Vancouver Island. He taught Creative Writing at a number of Canadian universities, and retired from the University of Victoria in 2002.

He is the author of seven novels, including The Invention of the World; The Resurrection of Joseph Bourne, winner of the Governor General’s Award; The Macken Charm; Broken Ground, winner of the Ethel Wilson Prize for Fiction; and Distance; and three books of short stories, Spit Delaney’s Island, a finalist for the Governor General’s Award; The Barclay Family Theatre; and Damage Done by the Storm. He is also the author of A Passion for Narrative: A Guide for Writing Fiction.

Hodgins has been awarded the Canada-Australia Prize, among many others, has received three honorary degrees, and has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.


From the Hardcover edition.

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