The aim of The Writer's Reader: Ways of Writing, Ways of Reading, is toprovide an essential key text for the creative and critical grasp ofwriting, with an emphasis on creative prose fiction writing. It is true to say that creating prose fiction is the most popular form ofpractice undertaken by writing undergraduates, and that prose fiction isthe most often examined form used in analysis in both the USA and the UK(international research programme: Writing and Education 1995 --). Ittherefore works as the most productive hub around which more generaldiscussions of writing techniques, styles and concepts can revolve. These general discussions include consideration of such topics as: thenature of fictionality, the idea of writerly voice, the role of the reader,cultural context and historical position, style and characterisation,writing structure and writing form: and relates, likewise, to cross-writingtopics such as prose writing's relationship with film and media texts,poetry and prose writing, fiction and non-fiction and the role of thecritic.;The text will contain: core readings, exercises and activities: acritical/creative glossary: suggested further reading: an up-to-datebibliography. It will provide a blend of creative-critical activity for thedevelopment of reflective practitioners at undergraduate level, while alsoproviding a useful practical text for writing and literature postgraduates.The Writer's Reader is designed to be particularly suitable for courses increative writing and composition, as well as for literary studies, culturalstudies and literature courses. HowThe Writer's Reader will offer structured exploration of existing textscoupled with guidance for writer/readers on how to fashion their ownwriting and reading. The approach combines practice with theory, analysiswith activity, and is designed to cultivate a sense of text as both productand process. The method also involves a clearly staged yet highly flexible combinationof reading and writing activities.;These take place before, during andafter a reading of each text/author featured: Pre-text: This consists of a brief critical biography focusing upon thewriter as someone with characteristic agendas and emphases, and upon thetext for the ways in which it shapes, constructs and projects a distinctivevision or version of the world. This preliminary material is pointed by abrief activity in which readers are required to exercise themselves aswriters. Typically, this takes the form of actively engaging with a relatedissue, topic or strategy. Main text: This offers a sample of text which is significant, distinctive,coherent and in some way provocative with respect to the immediate issuein hand. (The latter is signalled by the sub-heading within the sections,eg: 'What happens before writing', 'Narrative and non-narrative'. 'Selvesand others', etc.) Texts are anything from half a page to fifteen pageslong. Overall, they are chosen so as to offer a stimulating andcomprehensive range of kinds of prose fiction: older and newer, 'classic'and 'non-classic', in more and less familiar genres, by women and men, fromvarious periods, countries and cultures.;Each text may be read continuously'for itself': but there are also footnotes signalling relevant biographicaland historical information as well as marginal comments, queries andinstructions drawing attention to the main issues and strategies in play.These invite the reader to weigh related problems and possibilities and to(re-) write things her or his way. The general aim, then, is a mixture ofcontinuous and interrupted reading. Thus there is a productive tensionbetween a sense of the existing text as a finished product and thepossibility that it might have been - and in some sense may still be --otherwise. Readers are made aware of a construction that is capable of de-and re-construction. Post-text: This provides further, fuller activities as well as prompts fordiscussion and research. As throughout The Writer's Reader, it is shownthat the practice of creative writing cannot be divorced from that ofcritical reading (whether of other people's or one's own work): also thatboth writing and reading may be usefully informed by considered strategiesand principles.LayoutWays InWhat happens before writing.Ideas as they occur -- initial sparks and long-burning embers.;The nature and techniques of prewriting.Posing problems, setting tasks.Ways of seeing into ways of saying.First drafts.Comments by writers on beginning the process of writing. Featuring theopenings of novels, short-stories (eg: Salinger, Russ, Vonnegut, Voinovich,Christa Wolf, Lessing, Dickens, James, Carey, Rushdie, Austen, Defoe)Further reading and summary activitiesFinding and MakingScanning experience for writing possibilities.Imitation and invention.Refining possibilities for development of materials.Research and other resources.Working on one's own and with others.Hybrid texts and the re-making of genresFeaturing hybrid texts such as narrative-script, lyrical journalism,advertorial, passport-as-prose-poem (eg: Bunyan, Wolfe, Hunter S.Thompson,Du Bois, Equiano, Rowlandson, Behn, Cohen, Borges, Achebe,Aidoo) .Further reading and summary activitiesExploring VoicesStylistic analysis: from word to sentence to text.Sound, sense and syntax.Point of view, participation and observation.Dialogue and ways of handling speech.Culture as a continuing -- yet interrupted -- conversation.;Featuring American, British and Non-Western voices, alternative points ofview in fiction (eg: Fielding, C. Bronte, Rhys, Garcia Marquez, Lawrence,Fresneau, Emcheta, Carter, Updike, Welty, Hemingway, Faulkner, Atwood,Tutuola)Further reading and summary activitiesExperimenting with StructuresNarrative and non-narrative, simple and complex.Story and plot, sequence and consequence.Action and argument, state and description.Pattern and chaos: convergence, divergence and randomness.Linear and non-linear, recursive and progressive.Kinds of logic -- empirical, rational and metaphorical. Intertextuality andinfinitely extensible text.Featuring different ways of organising time, place, persons (eg: Sterne,Smollett, Samuel Richardson, Dorothy Richardson, Woolf, Joyce, Barth,Coover, Brooke-Rose)Further reading and summary activities.Writing LivesAutobiography and biography.Selves and others.Characterization.Make-believe people -- making people believe.Identity and identificationCreating living wor(l)ds.;Featuring construction of people in and through fiction and its relations,imagined and otherwise (eg: Kempe, Johnson, Boswell, Aubrey, anonymousslave narratives, Dickens, Stein, Freud, Keneally, Proulx, Morrison,Lessing)Further reading and summary activitiesWays of KnowingFiction as knowledge, text as discourse.Know-how and know-what: technique and substance.Metatextuality and faction.Representation and performance.Story and history, exposition and explanation.Featuring ways of grasping the world thorough writing fiction (eg: Sterne,Eliot, Piercy, Rushdie, Camus, Beckett, Calvino, Coetzee, Derrida,Kristeva, Head, Angelou) Further reading and summary activitiesWay(s) OutSigning off and closing down.Relationships with other modes and genres of writing (screenwriting,poetry, print and broadcast journalism).Outertextuality, sense and non/sense and experimental fiction.Hypertext, the electronic workshop/playspace and the multimedia.To be continued: sequels and series, offspring and monsters ...;Featuring endings of novels, short-stories, continuations, adaptations,parodies, pastiche, cross-generic writing (eg: Rabelais, Nashe, Edgeworth,Mary Shelley, Lewis Carroll, Pynchon, Oates, Barthes, Cixous, Fuentes,Puig, Acker)Further reading and summary activitiesCreative/Critical GlossaryBibliography & ReferencesIndexPresentation of textsEach text is framed so as to be grasped creatively and critically --before, during and after an initial reading. The result is a firm yetflexible apparatus consisting of pre-text, main text and post-text .Pre-TextA critical and biographical preface introduces the writer 'as writer' andthe characteristic emphases, agendas and strategies of her or his writing.A preliminary activity encourages the reader to focus on an issue, topic,structure or strategy related to those s/he will meet in the ensuing text. This is basically an invitation to reader/writers to make as well as findtheir own initial bearings.Main TextBrief footnotes supply relevant biographical and historical information.
The Writer's Reader Ways of Writing, Ways of Reading - Blackwell History of Literature
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