What if?: writing exercises for fiction writers

Front Cover
Longman, 1995 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 520 pages
4 Reviews
An essential to any writer's library, What If? is comprised entirely of specific exercises intended to help the reader master the art of writing fiction. The exercises isolate the various elements of fiction - dialogue, plot, characterization, point- of-view, etc. - and present specific problems to solve through writing. Directed toward both beginners and professional writers, this book addresses topics such as discovering where to start and end a story; learning when to use dialogue and when to use indirect discourse; transforming real events into fiction; and finding language that both sings and communicates precisely. For those interested in writing fiction.

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Great for novice writers!

User Review  - KStrassel - Borders

The exercises in this book are really great for jump-starting the imagination--and they're not boring! I turn to this book whenever writer's block has me in its grip. I highly recommend it. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jpaulett - LibraryThing

Good set of exercises for writers. I use the exercises heavily in my creative writing class. Practical and clear. Read full review


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About the author (1995)

Anne Bernays, a novelist and writing teacher, is the author of eight novels, including "Professor Romeo" and "Growing Up Rich, " as well as two works of nonfiction, including "The Language of Names" written with Justin Kaplan and "What If?" written with Pamela Painter. Her articles and essays have appeared in numerous major publications, among them "The Nation, " the "New York Times, Town & Country, " and "Sports Illustrated." She lives in Cambridge and Truro, Massachusetts with her husband, Justin Kaplan. They have three daughters and six grandchildren.

Pamela Painter is also the author of The Long and Short of It and c-author of What If? Wrting Exercises for Fiction Writers. She is a founding editor of StoryQuarterly and is on the faculty of the Vermont College MFA program. She lives in Boston, where she teaches in the Writing, Literature and Publishing Program at Emerson College.