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Now Write! : Fiction Writing Exercises From Today's Best Writers & Teachers - Sherry Ellis

Now Write!

Fiction Writing Exercises From Today's Best Writers & Teachers

Paperback

Published: 7th September 2006
For Ages: 18+ years old
Ships: 7 to 10 business days
7 to 10 business days
RRP $27.95
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A collection of personal writing exercises and commentary from some of today's best novelists, short story writers, and writing teachers, including Jill McCorkle, Amy Bloom, Robert Olen Butler, Steve Almond, Jayne Anne Phillips, Virgil Suarez, Margot Livesay, and more.

What's the secret behind the successful and prolific careers of critically acclaimed novelists and short story writers Amy Bloom, Steve Almond, Jayne Anne Phillips, Alison Lurie, and others? Divine assistance? Otherworldly talent? An unsettlingly close relationship with the Muse? While the rest of us are staring at blank sheets of paper, struggling to come up with a first sentence, these writers are busy polishing off story after story and novel after novel. Despite producing work that may seem effortless, all of them have a simple technique for fending off writer's block: the writing exercise. In Now Write!, Sherry Ellis collects the personal writing exercises of today's best writers and lays bare the secret to their success.

- In "The Photograph," Jill McCorkle divulges one of her tactics for handling material that takes plots in a million different directions;
- National Book Award-nominee Amy Bloom offers "Water Buddies," an exercise for writers practicing their craft in workshops;
- Steve Almond, author of My Life in Heavy Metal and Candyfreak, provides a way to avoiding purple prose in "The Five-Second Shortcut to Writing in the Lyric Register";
- and eighty-three more of the country's top writers disclose their strategies for creating memorable prose.

Complemented by brief commentary from the authors themselves, the exercises in Now Write! are practical and hands-on. By encouraging writers to shamelessly steal proven techniques that have yielded books which have won National Book Awards, Pulitzers, and Guggenheim grants, Now Write! inspires the aspiring writer to write now.

Wedding picturesp. 3
Through the sensesp. 5
My petp. 8
Two people come out of a building and into a storyp. 10
The seedp. 12
Truthful darep. 16
The photographp. 19
The prefab story exercisep. 21
The upside-down bird : hybridizing memory, place, and inventionp. 24
A map to anywherep. 31
Starting with the newsp. 33
Wedding cake assignmentp. 36
A tabula rasa experimentp. 39
Collagep. 43
The five sensesp. 45
Birth of a story in an hour or lessp. 47
Surrealism exercise, or thinking outside the boxp. 52
Overcoming dry spellsp. 54
Field tripp. 57
Smushing seed ideas togetherp. 59
The writing exercise : a recipep. 63
A story to tellp. 67
First-person point of view : imagining and inhabiting characterp. 69
You-me-I-you in the cafeteriap. 71
Getting characters' ages rightp. 73
What are they thinking? : a point-of-view exercisep. 76
Third-person narration and "psychic distance"p. 78
Look backward, angelp. 82
Let the dead speak : an exercise in first-person narrationp. 84
Empathy and the creation of characterp. 89
What's under the surface?p. 92
The interviewp. 96
"Once upon a time" : playing with time in fictionp. 99
Why I stole itp. 103
Language portraitp. 105
Paw through their pockets, rifle through their drawers : a character exercisep. 107
Mr. Samsa, meet Bartlebyp. 109
Rattlesnake in the drawerp. 112
A family theme, a family secretp. 114
Characters in conflictp. 118
The voyager : write what you don't know : an exercise in (surprising yourself with) characterp. 120
Getting dramaticp. 124
Developing your charactersp. 126
The way they do the things they dop. 128
Braiding timep. 132
Snoop 'da dialoguep. 137
Dialogue without wordsp. 139
Hearing voicesp. 142
Dialogue exercise : the non-apologyp. 145
Levels of dialoguep. 148
Fictional building blocksp. 155
Keep the engine runningp. 158
The riffp. 160
Storyboard your storyp. 162
Sticking to the structurep. 165
What am I writing about? : clarifying story ideas through summaryp. 168
The richness of resonancep. 171
Setting in fictionp. 175
The character of settingp. 177
Animating the inanimatep. 179
Learning to layerp. 181
A sense of placep. 184
Be the treep. 186
A very, very long sentencep. 188
Most memorable food : using sensory detailp. 190
Like water for words : a simile exercisep. 193
Finding a larger truth by turning autobiography into fictionp. 199
Secrets of the great scenep. 202
Hemingway's caroms : descriptive showing and tellingp. 206
How to own a storyp. 208
Object lessonsp. 211
The Goldilocks methodp. 214
Big scenesp. 218
Moving through time : a four-paragraph short shortp. 221
Using the retrospective lensp. 224
Water buddiesp. 226
Listening to sound to find sensep. 228
Entrances : building bigger scenesp. 230
The five second shortcut to writing in the lyric registerp. 233
Meaning making via metaphorp. 235
Soundtracking your storyp. 239
Negative capabilityp. 242
Seven drafts in seven daysp. 247
More is more : an exercise in revising your storyp. 250
Potholesp. 254
The dark matter : twenty issues in novel revisionp. 257
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781585425228
ISBN-10: 1585425222
Series: Now Write!
Audience: General
For Ages: 18+ years old
For Grades: 10+
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 7th September 2006
Publisher: Penguin Putnam Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.0 x 14.1  x 1.8
Weight (kg): 0.28
Edition Number: 1