Graceful Lie, The: A Method for Making Fiction, 1st edition

  • Michael F. Petracca

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The Graceful Lie actively involves writers in a process that is at once personally relevant and grounded in scholarship. KEY TOPICS: Through explanations, exercises and readings, it articulates the innovative ideas and practices of today's fiction writing while exposing readers to fictional subgenres that other texts mention sporadically, but don't explore in a systematic way.

Table of contents



1. Introduction.

The Love of Books, Gloria Naylor.

How to Keep and Feed a Muse, Ray Bradbury.

2. First Things.

Diary Entries from Journal of a Solitude, May Sarton

Hellish Speed..., Hunter S. Thompson

My Turn, Sara Paretsky.

3.Making Stories.

Cockroach Miracles, Solvent Dreams, Michael Petracca.

from The Temple of My Familiar, Alice Walker.

Descent of Man, T. Coraghessan Boyle.

The Unluckiest Consumer in the World, Michael Petracca.

4. Plot Components.

The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber, Ernest Hemingway.

Selway, Pam Houston.

5. Storyfolk.

Scar, Amy Tan.

The Chrysanthemums, John Steinbeck.

6. Ways of Showing.

from Justine, Lawrence Durrell.

Buddah, Susan Straight.

7. Perfection and Print.

A Conversation with My Father, Grace Paley.

Restrospect on My Fictions, Richard Kostelanetz.


8. Prose Poetry.

Prose poems, Gary Young.

Prose poems, Killarney Clary.

9. Creative Nonfiction.

A History of My Hair, Christopher Buckley.

Living Like Weasels, Annie Dillard.

Catholics, Gary Soto.

10. Young Adult Fiction.

Opening section of Fade Far Away, Francess Lantz.

50% Chance of Lightning, Cristina Salat.

11. Mystery Fiction.

M is for Malice, Chapter 1, and process journal, Sue Grafton.

Karen Makes Out, Elmore Leonard.

12. Historical Fiction.

The Hangman's Apprentice, Leonard Tourney.

Every Night for a Thousand Years, Chris Adrian.

13. Science Fiction.

First, There Was the Title, Tell-tale Ties and Tremors, and How Do We Get Into This Mess?, Harlan Ellison.

Conditioning, John M. Landsberg.

14. Literary Fiction.

Baby and Jimbo, Rat Tango, Only the Desperate Serve God, and opening chapter of Baby Cat-Face, Barry Gifford.

Vasiliy Shishkov, Vladimir Nabokov.

Published by Pearson (December 16th 1998) - Copyright © 1999