- Fantastic ideas are available everywhere--you just need to know how to tap into sources through a variety of approaches.
- Important craft aspects that you should focus on, such as characters and dialogue, while spending less time on others, like setting.
- Effective ways to get published--whether it's traditional or self-publishing--and how to supplement your income.
Whether you're a plotter, a pantser, or somewhere in-between, Writing Without Rules is for those writers who are looking for a fresh take on tackling the challenge of writing and selling a novel, and building a career. As Somers will show you, it's less about being perfect in everything, and more about having the confidence to complete everything.
This is a book to be relished one awakening at a time. Each story is a reminder that no matter how hard the situation or desolate you may feel, spring will come again, breaking through a cold winter, bringing early yellow forsythia flowers. And the Great Spring of enlightenment--that sudden rush of acceptance, pain cracking open, obstructions shattering--will also burst forth.
One has to look no further than the audiences hungry for the narratives served up by Downton Abbey or Wolf Hall to know that the lure of the past is as seductive as ever. But incorporating historical events and figures into a shapely narrative is no simple task. The acclaimed novelist Christopher Bram examines how writers as disparate as Gabriel Garc a M rquez, David McCullough, Toni Morrison, Leo Tolstoy, and many others have employed history in their work.
Unique among the "Art Of" series, The Art of History engages with both fiction and narrative nonfiction to reveal varied strategies of incorporating and dramatizing historical detail. Bram challenges popular notions about historical narratives as he examines both successful and flawed passages to illustrate how authors from different genres treat subjects that loom large in American history, such as slavery and the Civil War. And he delves deep into the reasons why War and Peace endures as a classic of historical fiction. Bram's keen insight and close reading of a wide array of authors make The Art of History an essential volume for any lover of historical narrative.
How We Speak to One Another is some of the most engaging evidence we've got that the essay is going strong. Here, essayists talk back to each other, to the work they love and the work that disquiets them, and to the very basic building blocks of what we understand "essay" to be. What's compiled in these pages testifies to the endless flexibility, generosity, curiosity, and audacity of essays. Even more than that, it provides the kind of pleasure any great essay collection does--upsetting our ideas and challenging the way we organize our sense of the world.
Ander Monson is the author, most recently, of Letter to a Future Lover: Marginalia, Errata, Secrets, Inscriptions, and Other Ephemera Found in Libraries (Graywolf Press). He is also the author of Vanishing Point, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Neck Deep and Other Predicaments.
Craig Reinbold's writing has appeared in journals and magazines including the Gettysburg Review, Iowa Review, New England Review, Guernica, Gulf Coast, and Brevity. He was the managing editor of Essay Daily from 2013 to 2016.
Contributors include: Ander Monson, Marcia Aldrich, Kristen Radtke, Robin Hemley, Robert Atwan, Matt Dube, Aisha Sabatini Sloan, T. Clutch Fleischmann, Rigoberto Gonz lez, Kati Standefer, Julie Lauterbach-Colby, C sar Diaz, Emily Deprang, Lucas Mann, Danica Novgorodoff, Bonnie J. Rough, Peter Grandbois, Albert Goldbarth, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Steven Church, Bethany Maile, David Legault, Joni Tevis, John D'Agata, Meehan Crist, Thomas Mira Y Lopez, Danielle Deulen, John T. Price, Maya L. Kapoor, Chelsea Biondolillo, Megan Kimble, Brian Doyle, Nicole Walkder, Paul Lisicky, Brian Oliu, Pam Houston, Dave Mondy, Phillip Lopate, Amy Benson, Patrick Madden, Elena Passarello, Erin Zwiener, Patricia Vigderman, and Ryan Van Meter.
Writers of memoir and narrative nonfiction are experiencing difficult days with the discovery that some well-known works in the genre contain exaggerations--or are partially fabricated. But what are the parameters of creative nonfiction? Keep It Real begins by defining creative nonfiction. Then it explores the flexibility of the form--the liberties and the boundaries that allow writers to be as truthful, factual, and artful as possible. A succinct but rich compendium of ideas, terms, and techniques, Keep It Real clarifies the ins and outs of writing creative nonfiction. Starting with acknowledgment of sources, running through fact-checking, metaphor, and navel gazing, and responsibilities to their subjects, this book provides all the information you need to write with verve while remaining true to your story.
The long-awaited guide to writing long-form nonfiction by the legendary author and teacherDraft No. 4 is a master class on the writer's craft. In a series of playful, expertly wrought essays, John McPhee shares insights he has gathered over his career and has refined while teaching at Princeton University, where he has nurtured some of the most esteemed writers of recent decades. McPhee offers definitive guidance in the decisions regarding arrangement, diction, and tone that shape nonfiction pieces, and he presents extracts from his work, subjecting them to wry scrutiny. In one essay, he considers the delicate art of getting sources to tell you what they might not otherwise reveal. In another, he discusses how to use flashback to place a bear encounter in a travel narrative while observing that "readers are not supposed to notice the structure. It is meant to be about as visible as someone's bones." The result is a vivid depiction of the writing process, from reporting to drafting to revising--and revising, and revising. Draft No. 4 is enriched by multiple diagrams and by personal anecdotes and charming reflections on the life of a writer. McPhee describes his enduring relationships with The New Yorker and Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and recalls his early years at Time magazine. Throughout, Draft No. 4 is enlivened by his keen sense of writing as a way of being in the world.
The bad news: even really good manuscripts have weak spots that are enough to garner rejections from agents and publishers. The good news: most of these problems are easy to fix -- once the writer sees and understands them. After several years of evaluating manuscripts, literary agent Elizabeth Kracht noticed that many submissions had similar problems, so she began to make a list of the pitfalls. The Author's Checklist offers her short, easy-to-implement bites of advice, illustrated by inspiring -- and cautionary -- real-world examples. Most aspiring authors yearn for a friend in book publishing. The Author's Checklist is just that.