Written by bestselling author Janet Burroway, Imaginative Writing, Fourth Edition—an introduction to creative writing—covers all four genres: creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and drama.
Imaginative Writing discusses elements of craft common to all creative writing before delving into the individual genres. After an introduction, the next five chapters each investigate a specific element of craft–Image, Voice, Character, Setting, and Story–from a perspective that crosses all genres. Integrated readings from talented and renowned writers illustrate the chapter topics. Chapter 7 explores development and revision and serves as a bridge between the craft chapters and the genre chapters–Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. This unique organization allows students to experiment with creative techniques shared by all genres before deciding which form best suits their imagination. Unique "Try-This" exercises help students develop writing skills, while “Working Toward a Draft” exercises encourage students to think ahead about the direction and possibilities of their work.
Imaginative Writing offers an attractive, trade-format book at an affordable price.
· Top-down organization addresses elements of craft (Image, Voice, Character, Setting, and Story) in the first part of the text while the second part explores specific genres (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Poetry, and Drama). This format helps students understand the various creative techniques shared by all forms of imaginative writing before concentrating on individual genres.
· “Warm-Up” exercises are chapter-opening writing exercises intended to captivate new writers through visual inspiration.
· "Try-This" exercises appear throughout each chapter. Provocative and fun, these exercises help students develop the specific writing skills discussed within the text. “Working toward a draft” exercises encourage students to develop their ideas into complete drafts.
· 70 complete readings in the four genres are integrated into the chapters.
· An appendix outlines the basic elements of Prosody (the study of versification), including the major units of sound and meter, the principles of rhyme, and common stanza patterns.
· New selections. Nearly half of the selections in all four genres are new to this edition, including:
o New selections in Creative Nonfiction by Aleksandar Hemon, David Sedaris, Michael Chabon, and others.
o New selections in Fiction from Jamaica Kincaid, Ursula Le Guin, Edith Pearlman, George Saunders, Tobias Wolff, Richard Bausch,
o New selections in Poetry by Alicia Ostriker, Erin Belieu, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Kaylin Haught, John Freeman, and others.
o New selections in Drama from Will Dunne, Joe DiPietro, Molly Campbell, and Chuck O’Connor.
· New section in poetry chapter. An expanded section on Poetry with more than a dozen “Try This” exercises to guide the writer through the process of drafting and revising a poem.
· Refined drama chapter. An expanded section on Drama outlining the construction of a dramatic scene through a character’s goal, objective, and strategy, and the concept of a dramatic beat.
· New visual inspiration. New photos at the beginning of each chapter to provide fresh “Warm-Up” exercises.
· Expanded writing opportunities. New “Try This” exercises throughout.
· Online manual. An online manual in Collaborative Exercises offering the instructor a variety of right-brain exercises drawn from various disciplines.
Chapter 1 Invitation to the Writer
… and writing …
… and reading …
… and this book …
… and your journal …
A word about your workshop …
Part I The Elements of Craft
Chapter 2 Image
Image and Imagination
Concrete, Significant Details
Figures of Speech
from Heaven and Earth in Jest
Bullet in the Brain
American History looks for light—a prayer for the survival of Barack Obama
Chapter 3 Voice
Point of View
Beauty: When the Other Dancer Is the Self
Warren J. Bowe
Guns for Teachers
Jorge Luis Borges
The Book of Sand
Wrong About the Horse
Ode to American English
Adam J. Ruben
The Grad Student Rap
High Hard Ones a Play
Chapter 4 Character
Character as Desire
Character as Image
Character as Voice
Character as Action
Character as Thought
Character as Presented by the Author
Character as Conflict
Stock and Flat Characters
The Book of My Life
Me vs. Animals
Tandolfo the Great
I Knew a Woman
Carole Simmons Oles
God Says Yes to Me
Chapter 5 Setting
Setting as the World
Setting as a Camera
Setting as Mood and Symbol
Setting as Action
At the Dam
At Navajo Monument Valley Tribal School
Nobody Dies in the Spring
Chapter 6 Story
As a Journey
As a Power Struggle
As Connection and Disconnection
Red Sky in the Morning
David Foster Wallace
Incarnations of Burned Children
One of Us Is Hidden Away
A Story About the Body
Columbine High School/Littleton, CO
Chapter 7 Development and Revision
Developing a Draft
Elizabeth Bishop: First and Final Drafts of “One Art”
Patty Seyburn: “Anatomy of Disorder”
Janet Burroway: The Opening of Indian Dancer
Part II The Genres
Chapter 8 Creative Nonfiction
The Essay and Creative Nonfiction
Memoir and the Personal Essay
Techniques of Creative Nonfiction
Fact and Truth
Do He Have Your Number, Mr. Jeffrey?
The Female Body
S. L. Wisenberg
Creative Nonfiction Format
Chapter 9 Fiction
Story and Plot
Scene and Summary
Backstory and Flashback
Text and Subtext
A Very Short Story
Ursula K. Le Guin
The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas
Bigfoot Stole My Wife
Chapter 10 Poetry
Formal and Free Verse
Working with Sound
The Poetic Line
Imagery, Connotation, and Metaphor
Density and Intensity
Finding the Poem
Columbia the Gem
The Grammar Lesson
There Is No Word
Love Is Not an Emergency
The Language of the Brag
Chapter 11 Drama
The Difference Between Drama and Fiction
Sight: Sets, Action, Costumes, Props
Sound: Verbal and Nonverbal
Structure: Making a Scene
The Ten-Minute Play
Good Morning, Romeo
Appendix A: A Basic Prosody
Appendix B: Line Editing
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JANET BURROWAY is the author of plays, poetry, essays, children’s books, and eight novels including The Buzzards, Raw Silk (runner up for the National Book Award), Opening Nights, Cutting Stone, and Bridge of Sand. Her other publications include a collection of personal essays, Embalming Mom, in addition to a volume of poetry, Material Goods, and three children’s books in verse, The Truck on the Track, The Giant Jam Sandwich, and The Perfect Pig. Her plays Medea with Child (The Reva Shiner Award), Sweepstakes, Division of Property (Arts & Letters Award), and Parts of Speech have received readings and productions in New York, London, San Francisco, Hollywood, Chicago, and various regional theaters. Her textbook Writing Fiction, now in its ninth edition, is the most widely used creative writing text in the United States. Her most recent books are a memoir, Losing Tim, and a collection of essays she has edited, A Story Larger Than My Own: Women Writers Look Back on Their Lives and Careers. She is Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor Emerita at the Florida State University in Tallahassee and has most recently taught in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Northwestern University.
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