Finding Your Writer's Voice: A Guide to Creative Fiction

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Macmillan, Dec 15, 1996 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 256 pages
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An illuminating guide to finding one's most powerful writing tool, Finding Your Writer's Voice helps writers learn to hear the voices that are uniquely their own. Mixing creative inspiration with practical advice about craft, the book includes chapters on:

Accessing raw voice
Listening to voices of childhood, public and private voices, and colloquial voices
Working in first and third person: discovering a narrative persona
Using voice to create characters
Shaping one's voice into the form of a story
Reigniting the energy of voice during revision

 

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Finding your writer's voice: a guide to creative fiction

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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 ... Read full review

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Contents

Telling Begins in an Atmosphere of Urgency
3
Voice Your Most Powerful Tool
5
The Writer as Singer
8
The Importance of Raw Voice
10
The Voice as an Instrument
15
Inner Listening
20
Distilling Voice
24
Inviting Accidents
26
Working with Third Person Discovering a Narrative Persona
111
Secrets as a Key to Character
117
Finding Dialogue through Impersonation
122
Voice and Tone
127
To Plot or Not to Plot
133
Gender Bending Race Switching and Beyond
139
Unity Discovering a Storys Design
145
Returning to the Pressure Cooker
152

Listening to the Voice of Childhood
28
Public and Private Voices
32
The Sound of Colloquial Voice
35
The Chorus of Voice
38
Whos Speaking? Voice and Character
41
Capturing the Inner Critic
46
Learning to Spot the Imposter
49
The Writer as Presence
54
Becoming a Prose Thief
58
Using the Journal Dangerously
61
Writing in the Pressure Cooker Leading Raw Voice into the Story
65
If
68
Craft and the Voice of the Story
73
Going Deeper into the Story Voice as Composer and Instrumentalist
77
From Anecdotes to Stories
80
Catalysts for the Story Character Plot and Vision Driven Stories
85
Working with Short Forms to Discover Your Story
90
Point of View
97
Meeting the FirstPerson Narrator
103
Revision Exploding the Myth
159
The Art of Reading Your Own Fiction
164
Should Dick Have a Beard? Meeting Your Editors
169
Listening for the Story Editor
173
Listening for the Sentence Editor
179
The Timing of Revision
184
How to Surprise Yourself in the Middle of Your Story
187
Filtering Feedback
191
When to Rewrite from Scratch
196
Talking to the Stranger Another Angle on Revision
200
Returning to Raw Voice
205
Voice over the Long Haul
208
Audacity and Ruthlessness DeConstructing a Writers Life
213
The Writer as Character
217
Writing during Hard Times
221
Some Truths about TruthTelling
226
The Importance of Lying
233
Becoming Your Own Sovereign
237
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About the author (1996)

Thaisa Frank, author of three books of short fiction and a forthcoming novel, is a two-time PEN award winner, and contributing editor toThe San Francisco Review. She has taught at San Francisco State, University of California at Berkeley, and currently teaches at the University of San Francisco.

Dorothy Wall, poet and writing consultant, is also the author of numerous reviews and articles. She gives writing workshops and seminars, and has taught at San Francisco State University, Napa Valley College, and University of California at Berkeley, Extension. They both live in Oakland, California.

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