Pen in Hand: A Meditation on the Art and Craft of the Short Story

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iUniverse, Aug 2, 2010 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 56 pages
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"The connection which I have shown in this lecture to exist between the energy of the heart’s contraction and the length of the muscle fibers, enables us to understand not only the marvelous power of adaptation of the heart to the varying strains of everyday life, but also the condition of this organ in disease, when from overstrain or morbid alterations in its muscles or valves it fails to carry out its functions with efficiency." What a beautiful sentence. It was delivered by the eminent physiologist Ernest H. Starling near the end of his Linacre Lecture given at Cambridge in 1915. When I was a young man editing manuscripts for technical journals, I was appalled by how poorly so many young scientists wrote. As the excerpt from Starling illustrates, scientific reporting was at one time rendered in well crafted prose. So, what happened? Style in scientific writing, as elsewhere, grew so transparent as to disappear altogether. My personal journey put me on a decades long path from technical to creative writing. Good writing is good writing, wherever it is found. My goal is to help you become a sculptor of words as you pursue the art of fiction. Some of what I have gleaned over the years, as heir to an older tradition, I offer to you in this extended essay.
 

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Contents

Writing Fiction
4
Introduction to Your Story
6
Fear Not Tradition
8
Reading
10
Short Story Versus Essay
12
Where to Begin
14
The Mystery
16
Science Fiction and Fantasy
18
Flash BackFlash Forward
26
Authorial Intrusion
28
Allegory An Extended Metaphor
30
The Suspensive Sentence or revisiting Miss Bascomb
32
The Relation of Speech Rhythms to Prose Rhythms
34
How We Speak Versus How We Write
36
Writing About Sex
38
Afterword
40

The Elusive Concept of Style
20
The Opaque Style
22
The Transparent Style
24
References
42
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Ethard Wendel Van Stee began studying creative writing thirty years ago. He has served on the editorial boards of several learned journals and has had many years of experience on the podium in university lecture halls. He shifted focus three decades ago t

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