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Creative Writing

Book Description

Creative writing may be the ultimate form of self-expression. Whether the reader is a creative writing student or someone who feels compelled to create stories and poetry in their free time, Idiot's Guides: Creative Writing helps them master the basics of fiction and creative nonfiction and write more effectively. Readers will learn how to:

- Create the fundamental elements of good fiction of creative nonfiction, including plot, character, point of view, setting, dialogue, style, and theme.

- Write various types and genres of creative writing, including novels, short stories, plays and screenplays, poetry, book-length and article-length narrative nonfiction, memoirs, and more.

- Hone their writing skills and boost their creativity with writing prompts and exercises.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Introduction
  5. Part 1: You, the Writer
    1. 1 Reading and Writing
      1. All Writing Is Autobiographical
      2. All Writing Is Invented
      3. Reading Educates Writers
      4. “Doing” Writing
      5. The Importance of Journals
      6. Making Journal Writing a Habit
    2. 2 Compelling Craft
      1. Using the Five Senses
        1. The Sense of Sight
          1. The Sense of Smell
          2. The Sense of Hearing
          3. The Sense of Taste
          4. The Sense of Touch
        2. The Power of Abstractions
        3. The Function of Generalizations
        4. The Importance of Judgment
    3. 3 Dynamic Details
      1. A Concrete Core
      2. Making It Significant
      3. Crucial Judgments
      4. Making It Seem Real
  6. Part 2: Speech, Voice, and Point of View
    1. 4 Energetic Figures of Speech
      1. Making Replacements with Metonymy
      2. Synecdoche Substitutions
      3. Giving Life with Personification
      4. Comparing with Metaphors
      5. Comparing with Similes
    2. 5 Convincing Character Voice
      1. Employing Mimicry
      2. Finding Similarities and Differences with Contrast
      3. Understanding Irony
        1. Verbal Irony
        2. Dramatic Irony
        3. Situational Irony
      4. Creating and Using Conflict
    3. 6 Influential Point of View
      1. I Am the First Person
      2. You Are the Second Person
      3. We Are the Third Person
        1. Third Person Subjective, Limited
        2. Third Person Objective
        3. Third Person Omniscient
        4. Third Person Descriptive
      4. Understanding and Establishing Distance
  7. Part 3: Character, Setting, and Types of Stories
    1. 7 Magnetic Characterization
      1. Employing Direct Dialogue
      2. Employing Indirect Dialogue
      3. Understanding Authorial Interpretation
      4. Writing Stock Characters
    2. 8 Potent Setting
      1. Constructing Your Story’s World
      2. Through a Camera’s Lens
      3. Establishing Atmosphere
      4. Writing Setting as Action
      5. Identifying Types of Setting
    3. 9 Plot/Story, Struggle, and Connections
      1. The All-Important Journey
      2. Protagonist Versus Antagonist
      3. Connections Between Characters
      4. Writing Disconnections
  8. Part 4: Short-Form Genres
    1. 10 The Masterful Essay
      1. Expository Essays
      2. Descriptive Essays
      3. Persuasive Essays
      4. The “New Journalism”
    2. 11 The Lifelike Short Story
      1. Story Versus Plot
      2. Scene and Summary
      3. Backstory and Flashback
      4. Patterning with Prosody
    3. 12 Short and Sweet Flash Fiction
      1. Creating Flash Fiction
        1. Story and Plot
        2. Scene and Summary
        3. Backstory and Flashback
        4. Prosody in Flash Fiction
      2. Choosing Your Topic
      3. Reading Other Flash Fiction Writers
      4. Getting Your Flash Fiction Published
    4. 13 The Arresting Poem
      1. Free Verse and Formal Verse
      2. Imagery and Metaphor
      3. Density and Intensity
      4. Prosody, Rhythm, and Rhyme
    5. 14 The Believable One-Act Play
      1. Setting the Set
      2. The Importance of Action
      3. Essential Verbal Sound
      4. Equally Essential Nonverbal Sound
        1. Personal Space
        2. Eye Contact
        3. Position and Posture
        4. Tone of Voice
        5. Facial Expressions
        6. Gestures and Movements
  9. Part 5: Long-Form Genres
    1. 15 The Realities of Nonfiction and Memoir
      1. Emotion and Event
      2. The Importance of Research
      3. Writing Truth and Fact
      4. Making Use of Memory
      5. What About Authorial Intrusion?
    2. 16 The Longer Story: The Novel
      1. Understanding Novel Story and Plot
      2. Knowing When to Write Scene Versus Summary
      3. Employing Backstory and Flashback
      4. Implementing Prosodic Features
    3. 17 The Play and Screenplay People Want to Watch
      1. Establishing Setting
      2. Writing Action
      3. Writing Dialogue for the Stage
      4. Creating Nonverbal Communication
      5. Tips for Screenwriters
        1. Writing for the Big Screen
        2. Writing for the Small Screen
    4. 18 The Seamless Book of Poetry
      1. Culling Your Existing Poems
      2. Identifying Commonalities in Verse
      3. Identifying Common Images and Metaphors
      4. Tracing Density and Intensity
      5. Commonalities in Prosody, Rhythm, and Rhyme
        1. The Rhythm of Poetry
        2. The Rhyming of Poetry
    5. 19 The Collective Book of Essays/Stories
      1. Commonalities in Plot
        1. Place
        2. Central Protagonist
        3. Time Period
        4. Writing Style
      2. Similarities in Scenes and Summaries
        1. Summary
        2. Scene
      3. Common Use of Backstory and Flashback
      4. Commonalities in Prosody
  10. Part 6: Drafting, Researching, and Editing
    1. 20 Drafting and Structuring
      1. Getting Unstuck
      2. Mining Your Journal
      3. Letting Go: Freewriting
      4. Outlining Your Work
      5. Assembling the Pieces with Quilting
    2. 21 Empowering Research
      1. Reading Period Material
      2. The Importance of Taking Notes
      3. Pack Your Bags
      4. Making the Most of Interviews
    3. 22 Revising and Editing
      1. Using Your Misgivings
      2. Reading Aloud or Not at All
      3. Word Choice and Language
      4. Document Length
      5. Developing the Underdeveloped
  11. Part 7: Getting Published
    1. 23 Finding Agents and Publishers
      1. Do Your Research
      2. Making the Most of Query Letters
      3. Drafting a Good Synopsis
        1. Before You Start Your Synopsis
        2. Do You Know Your Market?
        3. Do You Know Your Genre?
        4. Writing Your Synopsis
        5. Synopses, Agents, Editor, and Publishers
      4. Dealing with Rejection and Staying Persistent
        1. Types of Rejections
        2. Keeping the Faith
    2. 24 Publishing Your Work
      1. Submitting to Publishers
      2. More Research
      3. More Cover Letters
      4. More Rejection
      5. Staying at It
  12. Appendixes
    1. A Glossary
    2. B Resources
    3. C Prose Examples
  13. Index
  14. About the Author