The Making of a Story

A Norton Guide to Creative Writing

Alice LaPlante (Author, San Francisco State University)

 

A Los Angeles Times bestseller: wonderfully lucid and illuminating, Alice LaPlante’s guide to writing fiction “recalls Francine Prose’s bestseller, Reading Like a Writer” (Library Journal).

The Making of a Story is a fresh and inspiring guide to the basics of creative writing—both fiction and creative nonfiction. Its hands-on, completely accessible approach walks writers through each stage of the creative process, from the initial triggering idea to the revision of the final manuscript. It is unique in combing the three main aspects of creative writing instruction: process (finding inspiration, getting ideas on the page), craft (specific techniques like characterization), and anthology (learning by reading masters of the form). Succinct, clear definitions of basic terms of fiction are accompanied by examples, including excerpts from masterpieces of short fiction and essays as well as contemporary novels. A special highlight is Alice LaPlante's systematic debunking of many of the so-called rules of creative writing. This book is perfect for writers working alone as well as for creative writing classes, both introductory and advanced.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • January 2010
  • ISBN 978-0-393-33708-2
  • 6.1 × 9.2 in / 677 pages
  • Sales Territory: USA and Dependencies, Philippines and Canada.

Endorsements & Reviews

“Comprehensive in its coverage of inspiration, craft, aesthetics, veracity, and purpose, this one-stop guide to writing is casual in tone and rigorous in content, elucidating the nature of diction and nonfiction and clarifying the qualities unique to each and common to both. Each chapter contains an explication of such subjects as point of view, characters, and narrative structure; writing exercises; and an illustrative story by the likes of Tim O’Brien, ZZ Packer, Lorrie Moore, John Cheever, and Maxine Hong Kingston. Expansive, clear, and sophisticated, LaPlante’s richly resourced guide is destined to become a standard.” — Booklist

“This big, comprehensive book is almost a complete writing course.” — Book Passage

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