Narrative Design: Working with Imagination, Craft, and Form

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W. W. Norton & Company, 2000 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 377 pages
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Focusing on the big picture as well as the crucial details, Bell examines twelve stories by both established writers (including Peter Taylor, Mary Gaitskill, and Carolyn Chute) and his own former students. A story's use of time, plot, character, and other elements of fiction are analyzed, and readers are challenged to see each story's flaws and strengths. Careful endnotes bring attention to the ways in which various writers use language. Bell urges writers to develop the habit of thinking about form and finding the form that best suits their subject matter and style. His direct and practical advice allows writers to find their own voice and imagination.
 

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User Review  - ElizabethAndrew - LibraryThing

An in-depth study of form in fiction. Bell posits two categories of structure: linear and module. Smart readings of examples, but not much advice about process--how to find a form fitting for your content. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - labwriter - LibraryThing

Not your usual writing how-to. I found it tremendously useful. For each story he analyzes plot, character, tone, point of view, dialogue, symbolism, and design. This is a workbook, not a theory or ... Read full review

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Contents

PREFACE
xi
UNCONSCIOUS MIND
1
LINEAR DESIGN
23
Depth Charge
33
ANALYSIS
45
Character
47
Time Management
48
Suspense
49
ANALYSIS
221
Character
222
Point of View
223
Imagery
224
NOTES
227
Lizzie Annie and Rosies Rescure of Me
232
ANALYSIS
243
Character
244

Imagery
50
Theme
51
NOTES
52
A Wife of Nashville
61
ANALYSIS
80
Character
81
Tone
84
Time Management
86
Design
88
NOTES
90
Daisys Valentine by Mary Gaitskill
98
ANALYSIS
114
Character
115
Tone
117
Point of View
118
Dialogue
119
Suspense
120
Design
121
NOTES
123
Hear That Long Train Moan
132
ANALYSIS
136
Character
137
Tone
138
Dialogue
139
Design
141
NOTES
143
Oh Man Alive
147
ANALYSIS
154
Character
155
Tone
156
Dialogue
157
Design
159
NOTES
160
The Sky Is Gray
165
ANALYSIS
188
Character
189
Tone
193
Point of View
194
Imagery and Description
195
Time Management
196
Design
197
NOTES
200
MODULAR DESIGN
211
Sign of Life
217
Tone
245
Point of View
246
Imagery and Description
247
Design
248
NOTES
251
The Child Downstairs
257
ANALYSIS
263
Character
264
Tone
266
Point of View
267
Imagery and Description
268
Design
269
NOTES
270
Red Hand
276
ANALYSIS
282
Character
283
Tone
284
Point of View
285
Time Management
287
Dialogue
288
Design
291
NOTES
293
Comic Strip
300
ANALYSIS
312
Character
314
Tone
316
Point of View
317
Time Management
318
Suspense
319
Design
323
NOTES
326
Little Red
336
ANALYSIS
346
Character
348
Tone
349
Imagery and Description
351
Design
352
NOTES
356
A Philosophy of Composition
363
Glossary of Terms
371
Contributions
375
Permissions Acknowledgments
377
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

Madison Smartt Bell is the author of twelve novels, his most recent being The Stone That the Builder Refused. He teaches at Goucher College and lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

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