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A Passion for Narrative: A Guide to Writing Fiction - Revised Edition Paperback – Jan 18 2001

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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  • A Passion for Narrative: A Guide to Writing Fiction - Revised Edition
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: McClelland & Stewart; 1REV edition (Jan. 18 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0771041985
  • ISBN-13: 978-0771041983
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.2 x 20.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 299 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #86,744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Library Journal

Described as "a book of inspiration and practical exercises for fiction writers," this work examines all the aspects of writing, from getting started through setting, character, plot, structure, revision, and a final section entitled "And now what?" Novelist Hodgins identifies the range of options available at each stage; quoting other writers, many of whom are little known in this country, he makes this book a voyage of discovery. Grammar is not discussed, nor is motivation; Hodgins presumes both. He does not presume knowledge of the terminology of writing, though, and is careful to explain terms before discussing each concept. In each chapter, exercises and a reading list further illuminate the points discussed. Divided into discrete sections, this book can be used as a reference tool, but it should be read through once first. It's fair to say that while the text does lag at times, it never lags for long, and struggling novelists out there should find most of their conundrums addressed. Recommended. -Robert C. Moore, DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical Co. Information Svces., Wilmington, Del.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

This book is not intended to persuade you to take up writing novels or short stories - "It's going to be a lot of work," Jack Hodgins warns. Nor will it tell you how to market your stories. But it will take you through the problems facing any fiction writer and show you how some of the best writers in English have solved them.
The chapters are clear and comprehensive: " Finding Your Own Stories; One Good Sentence After Another - on the skills of writing well; "Setting; Character - how to make your characters come alive; "Plot; Structure - "The Architecture of Story"; "Point of View and Voice; Metaphors, Symbols and Allusions; Revising - an all-important chapter that also deals with the impact of writing on a computer; "The Story of a Story - where Jack Hodgins talks of his own experience with one of his most famous stories; and the final chapter, "And Now What? - "Creating Your Own Workshop, which builds on the fact that every chapter in the book contains writing exercises to help you work away at home at "the mysterious business of writing fiction."
As an award-winning novelist and short-story writer Jack Hodgins is uniquely qualified to preach what he practises. As a trained teacher, he has been giving creative lessons for thirty years, at high schools and universities and to writers' summer schools. In recent years his creative writing courses at the University of Victoria have become discreetly famous. Now, anyone who buys this book can share in the experience of learning fiction-writing from a master.
With its scores of examples of first-class writing this lively, truly fascinating book will almost certainly make you be atter writer; it is guaranteed to make you abetter reader.

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There are plenty of how-to writing books on the market, many of them focused on writing page-turning novels that will land a publisher and sell tons of copies. Certainly, they have their place in the market, but once in a while writers should get back to basics and read a book that is all about writing well. A Passion For Narrative is a great choice.

Jack Hodgins is not only a highly regarded Canadian author known for his Vancouver Island settings and wonderful storytelling, but he's been teaching writing for years. The man knows what he's talking about. His chapters on character, setting, and plot are excellent, with terrific examples to stress points.

Hodgins asks the reader to do the exercises offered at the end of each chapter, and supplies a recommended reading list emphasizing each chapter's topic. While these exercises will benefit new writers or offer advanced writers new ways to look at their work, there are so many exercises that I doubt readers will try half of them. I reviewed the original 1993 edition, which was revised in 2001. Even since 2001, I think most writers are more impatient than ever to be published, which is a shame. In the push to become savvy marketers with twenty self-published e-books to sell, the concept of writing well, just for the joy of it, has become lost in the shuffle.
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As a new Writer, this book is at first discouraging and overwhelming. But as you read it, the veil of narrative writing starts to lift and you begin to glimpse the methods, tricks and styles that create great writing. You also learn to avoid the pitfalls. A must read for budding novelists.
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I had the good fortune to have had the author as my Grade 11 Creative Writing teacher in Nanaimo BC. He was and is still a fantastic teacher, a kind man and a very helpful encouraging mentor to all his students. For an aspiring writer to have a successful author, one who has "walked the walk", giving you his lessons on how to write is priceless! Well you can have the same through this book. It is written in a very personable style; you feel as though the author is talking to you. It makes you think, forces you to analyze your own writing, as well as that of published authors, and gives great tips and tools that you can use throughout your journey, from wherever you are starting as a writer.
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