On Writing Fiction: Rethinking Conventional Wisdom about the Craft

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Writer's Digest Books, Jul 22, 2011 - Reference - 256 pages
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The pieces of a satisfying novel or story seem to fit together so effortlessly, so seamlessly, that it's easy to find yourself wondering, "How on earth did the author do this?" The answer is simple: He sat alone at his desk, considered an array of options, and made smart, careful choices.

In On Writing Fiction, award-winning author and respected creative writing professor David Jauss offers practical information and advice that will help you make smart creative and technical decisions about such topics as: Writing prose with syntax and rhythm to create a "soundtrack" for the narrative Choosing the right point of view to create the appropriate degree of "distance" between your characters and the reader Harnessing the power of contradiction in the creative process In one thought-provoking essay after another, Jauss sorts through unique fiction-writing conundrums, including how to create those exquisite intersections between truth and fabrication that make all great works of fiction so much more resonant than fiction that follows the "write what you know" approach that's so often used.

 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
AUTOBIOGRAPHOBIA WRITING AND THE SECRET LIFE
3
FROM LONG SHOTS TO XRAYS DISTANCE AND POINT OF VIEW IN FICTION
25
WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT FLOW
59
REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PRESENT PRESENT TENSE IN CONTEMPORARY FICTION
86
SOME EPIPHANIES ABOUT EPIPHANIES
120
STACKING STONES BUILDING A UNIFIED SHORT STORY COLLECTION
149
EVER OF TRANSCENDENCE CONTRADICTION AND THE PHYSICS OF CREATIVITY
184
NOTES ON THE ESSAYS
211
INDEX
237
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

David Jauss is the author of two short story collections, Black Maps and Crimes of Passion, and two collections of poems, Improvising Rivers and You Are Not Here. His fiction and poetry have appeared in numerous magazines and been reprinted in such anthologies as Best American Short Stories, Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, and elsewhere. He teaches at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and chairs the M.F.A. in Writing Program at Vermont College.

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