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Shaping the Story A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Short Fiction

ISBN-10: 0205337198
ISBN-13: 9780205337194
Edition: 2004
Authors: Mark Baechtel
List price: $77.60 Buy it from $32.96
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Description: Shaping the Story teaches beginning fiction writers to hone their craft with a unique, step-by-step approach to writing a short story. Stepping students through an interlocking set of twelve easy-to-follow exercises Shaping the Story helps the  More...

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Book details

List price: $77.60
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Pearson Education
Publication date: 10/7/2003
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 336
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.210
Language: English

Shaping the Story teaches beginning fiction writers to hone their craft with a unique, step-by-step approach to writing a short story. Stepping students through an interlocking set of twelve easy-to-follow exercises Shaping the Story helps the beginning fiction writer understand the ways a short story changes and grows as it moves from its often-vague beginnings through a satisfying ending. As students step through the process, they learn about development of theme, point of view, voice, setting, character, dialogue, scene, plot, the treatment of time, and the crafting of satisfying endings. The text also offers an additional 48 skill-building exercisesfour per chapterplus an anthology of thirteen carefully chosen stories, which, through reading and analysis, will bring the book's lessons vividly to life.

Baltasar Hernndez Gmez has a degree in Political Science from the Autonomous Metropolitan University, Iztapalapa campus and a Master's on Political Science from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. He has been a professor at the School for Political Sciences at UNAM, at the School for Communication at Anhuac University, the School of Communication and Public Relations at the American University in Acapulco. Renowned columnist and editorial writer in the print media, successful author in the United States;'Outline for A Successful Political Campaign" (2000), "Power Tactics" (2008) and "Samurai" (2008)

Introduction
Getting the Idea
Where do stories come from? Beginnings (Part I)
What makes a story a story? The reader's questions
Shooting an arrow
Writing Assignment #1: The story cloud diagram
Alternative exercises
Reading Assignment #1: Flannery O'Connor's Revelation
Beginnings (Part II)
Evoking the world of your story
Beginning in the middle
Writing Assignment #2: Writing your opening scene
Questions for revision
Alternative exercises
Reading Assignment #2: Judith Claire Mitchell's A Man of Few Words
Point of View
One story, three beginnings
Types of point of view
The surface of the story
Writing Assignment #3: Choosing your point of view
Questions for revision
Alternative exercises
Reading Assignment #3: Tobias Wolff's Bullet in the Brain
Tone of Voice
Who's telling the story? What's your narrator's relationship to the story or its characters? Try writing the way you talk
Making sound match sense
Your way with words is not the subject of the story
Imitation-its uses and abuses
A few thoughts on precision
Overdependence on Adjectives and Adverbs
Writing Assignment #4: Finding the right tone of voice
Alternative exercises
Reading Assignment #4: Jorge Luis Borges' The Aleph
Building the Scene
How action becomes praxis
Exposition and summary
The parts that make up the parts that make up the whole
Making the action plausible
Show, don't tell-right or wrong? Setting
What's going to happen here? What's your setting's emotional temperature?
Where and how do you want your reader to enter the setting you're creating?
How would you shoot this setting if you were making a movie?
Are you appealing to the full range of senses?
How much detail is necessary?
Does your description of setting support the scene's action?
How do your characters' emotional state and the setting affect each other?
Writing Assignment #5 Writing where things happen
Alternative exercises
Reading Assignment #5: Wallace Stegner's The Traveler
Characterization
Characteres are what they do
Avoiding types
Treating characters respectfully
Round and flat characters
Allowing characters to declare themselves
Building a foundation for characterization early on
Adding characterizing detail like layers of lacquer
Writing Assignment #6: Building your characters
Alternative exercises
Reading Assignment #6: Kevin Brockmeier's These Hands
Dialogue
Dialogue's dual nature
Making your dialogue fit your characters
Making speech sound natural, even though it's artificial
Dialect-to use it or not?
Making characters sound different from ach other-and from the narrator
Weaving what characters say together with what they do
Using Dialogue to convey information
Finding the right mix of speech, description and action
Writing Assignment #7: Putting Words in Your Characters' Mouths
Alternative exercises
Reading Assignment #7: Kazuo Ishiguro's A Family Su

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