For over ten years, Marge Piercy and Ira Wood have been teaching two popular master classes in the art of writing fiction and memoirs. They attract students nationwide who have failed to improve their work in courses concentrating on process' rather than craft, and want to go beyond :journaling" and "writing as therapy" to break through and publish their work.
Drawing on talks, exercises and examples proven in the classroom, So You Want to Write addresses:
How to begin a piece by seducing your reader,
How to create characters that embody the infinite contradictions of human behavior,
How to master the elements of plotting fiction,
How to create a strategy for telling the story of your life,
How to learn to read critically, like a professional writer,
How to realistically approach publishing.
Combining over seventy years of writing experience, other chapters include:
The overlooked powers of dialogue,
Creating descriptions that move readers emotionally,
FAQ's about agents, rejections, submitting work effectively, what writers really earn,
Overcoming shame and the difficulties of writing about loved ones.
Marge Piercy is the author of 35 books of fiction and poetry. She has lectured or performed at over 300 universities, and sold over 3,000,000 books worldwide. Ira Wood is the author of three novels, a publisher, and a popular writing teacher, whose classes address writers' feelings of hopelessness and despair. They live on Cape Cod.
Fiction is as old a habit of our species as poetry. It goes back to telling a tale, the first perceptions of pattern, and narrative is still about pattern in human life. At core, it answers the question, what then? And then and then and then. And memoir is equally old: it's telling about your life, perhaps originally to children or a prospective mate or a new acquaintance.
Poetry is an art of time, as music is. Rhythms are measured against time: they are measures of time. A poem goes forward a beat at a time as a dance does, step by step, phrase by phrase. Narrative, whether fiction or memoir, is about time. First this, then that.