If you''ve got friends who are fiction writers, watch out: "Writers are spies, liars, and thieves," writes Robin Hemley in Turning Life into Fiction, and your words, deeds, and character--benevolent and malevolent alike--could be immortalized in print some day. If you write fiction, listen up, look around, and take note. Why strain your brain making things up when you can transform real life into stories worth telling? Hemley recommends keeping a journal ("It''s akin to an artist''s sketchbook"), writing down your dreams (the unconscious is a great source of free material), and mining all those crazy stories your grandmother used to tell. Then combine bits and pieces from these sources, take one great mind leap (and many drafts) and--voila--you''ve got fiction. Warning: even though it really happened, it might not be believable. Second warning: while it''s hard to know when something you write will offend the person it''s based on, says Hemley, "above all, don''t mess with male pattern baldness."
A highly entertaining and indispensable manual on how to write good fiction
If you want to write at all, whether from real life or not, you must be willing and able to use your imagination. That means you must be willing to take risks and sometimes look the fool. You must be willing to transform experience, not simply record it. If you were a good liar, daydreamer, or troublemaker as a child, you''ll probably make a good fiction writer. Daydreams, lies, and trouble. That''s the stuff of fiction. In Turning Life into Fiction, Robin Hemley offers a highly entertaining and in-depth manualÂ--with writing exercises on how to convert real life into good storytelling. He covers a wide range of subjects, including how to record and generate ideas from daily life and how to write effectively using true anecdotes, real places, and real people. A self-proclaimed liar and thief, Hemley also addresses the legal and ethical concerns of Â"borrowingÂ" experience from the lives of strangers and loved ones.
Lively, informative, and inspirational, Turning Life into Fiction is an invaluable text for any fiction writer. First published in 1994, this new edition is updated and expanded to include nearly a dozen short stories that Hemley refers to throughout the book.
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