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ART & CRAFT1. Thinking, Reading, and Writing Like a WriterBeing a Writer Means Paying AttentionWhy a Textbook (And Why This Textbook?) Rules of the RoadReading Like a WriterFinding Ideas for StoriesA Word to the NovelistWhat’s the Point of All This?2. The Extreme Importance of Relevant Detail Details and Believability Details and Engaging the ReaderShowing and Telling Fiction Writing as Telepathy Getting the Details Right (a.k.a. Researching Your Story)Which Details to Include? Nothing More Than Feelings Details and the Writer’s Sensibility 3. Starting Your Story What Beginnings DoReveal Key InformationEstablish the Story’s StakesStart with a Break from RoutineConsider Starting In Medias Res Whose Perspective Should You Choose? Other Information to Convey Sooner Rather Than LaterUltimately, It’s Your Call4. Working with the Elements of Fiction CharacterPlot CausalitySetting Point of View (POV) VoiceTheme 5. Creating Scenes: A Nuts & Bolts ApproachDialogueNarrationDescriptionExpositionInteriorityScene-Writing, Final Notes6. Organizing Your Story: Form & Structure Classic Story Structure and the Freytag Pyramid ConflictClimaxConclusion: What Has Changed?Form = MeaningOther Ways to Tell a StoryScene and SummaryCase Study: Structural Imitation7. Writing a Compelling Story High StakesCharacter Desire Active Protagonists The Atypical Day (A Break from Routine)External ConflictInternal Conflict / Presenting Characters’ Interior LivesCompressed Time PeriodSuspense (As Opposed to Withheld Information)Originality8. Ending Your Story The ChallengeStrategies for Ending Your StoryCommon PitfallsGetting the Words RightTwo Final Thoughts on Endings9. The Power of ClarityVagueness verses AmbiguityClear WordsClear SentencesClear Stories: A Few Words of AdviceClarity: Some Final Thoughts10. Revising Your StoryThe Case for RevisionWhat Is "Revision," Anyway?What Is a "First Draft"?Twelve Strategies for RevisionHow Do You Know When Your Story Is (Really, Truly) Done?BOOT CAMP11. The Mechanics of Fiction: A Writer's Boot CampFormatting and Punctuating DialogueAddressing a Person in DialogueParagraph Breaks in DialogueDouble Quotation Marks / Single Quotation MarksQuick Quiz: Repair This SentenceScare QuotesFormatting and Punctuating a Character’s ThoughtsComma Splices"Who" and "That"Exclamation Marks, Question Marks, All-CapsConjugation of "Lie" and "Lay"Quick Quiz: Choose the Correct SentenceSentences That Begin with an "-ing" WordSome Final AdviceThe Mechanics of Fiction: Practice TestANTHOLOGY12. A Mini-Anthology: 15 Stories1. Sherman Alexie, This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona2. Richard Bausch, Tandolfo the Great3. Kevin Brockmeier, A Fable with Slips of White Paper Spilling from the Pockets4. Percival Everett, The Appropriation of Cultures5. Becky Hagenston, Midnight, Licorice, Shadow6. Etgar Keret, What, of this Goldfish, Would You Wish?7. Jhumpa Lahiri, This Blessed House8. Jill McCorkle, Magic Words9. Kevin Moffett, One Dog Year10. Tim O’Brien, On the Rainy River11. ZZ Packer, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere 12. Susan Perabo, Indulgence13. Karen Russell, St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves14. John Updike, A&P15. Tobias Wolff, Bullet in the Brain
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