web site hit counter A Passion for Narrative: A Guide to Writing Fiction - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

A Passion for Narrative: A Guide to Writing Fiction

Availability: Ready to download

This book is not intended to persuade you to take up writing novels or short stories.... Nor will it tell you how to market your stories. But it will take you through the problems facing any fiction writer and 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; Settin This book is not intended to persuade you to take up writing novels or short stories.... Nor will it tell you how to market your stories. But it will take you through the problems facing any fiction writer and 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; Setting; Character; Plot; The Architecture of Story; Point of View and Voice; Metaphors, Symbols and Allusions; Revising. As an award-winning novelist and short-story writer Jack Hodgins is uniquely qualified to preach what he practices. As a trained teacher, he has been giving creating writing lessons for more than forty years, at high schools and universities and to writers' summer schools. With its scores of examples of first-class writing this lively, truly fascinating book will almost certainly make you a better writer; it is guaranteed to make you a better reader.


Compare

This book is not intended to persuade you to take up writing novels or short stories.... Nor will it tell you how to market your stories. But it will take you through the problems facing any fiction writer and 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; Settin This book is not intended to persuade you to take up writing novels or short stories.... Nor will it tell you how to market your stories. But it will take you through the problems facing any fiction writer and 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; Setting; Character; Plot; The Architecture of Story; Point of View and Voice; Metaphors, Symbols and Allusions; Revising. As an award-winning novelist and short-story writer Jack Hodgins is uniquely qualified to preach what he practices. As a trained teacher, he has been giving creating writing lessons for more than forty years, at high schools and universities and to writers' summer schools. With its scores of examples of first-class writing this lively, truly fascinating book will almost certainly make you a better writer; it is guaranteed to make you a better reader.

30 review for A Passion for Narrative: A Guide to Writing Fiction

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Well, I didn't do the exercises. (You can't tell me what to do, Jack Hodgins.) Still, I think this would be a useful book to own. I loved reading all the excerpts from notable authors. (Some of my favorites!) Hodgins' own voice felt a little dry and teachery, but I can't quibble with his advice. Well, I didn't do the exercises. (You can't tell me what to do, Jack Hodgins.) Still, I think this would be a useful book to own. I loved reading all the excerpts from notable authors. (Some of my favorites!) Hodgins' own voice felt a little dry and teachery, but I can't quibble with his advice.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Gail

    I use this wonderful guide in my courses in the CW MFA optional residency program at UBC. I highly recommend it as a guide to writing.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Vic Cavalli

    I've used this book in my university-level Creative Writing classes for 16 years, and over the years I've not received a desk copy of any other text that can take its place. I supplement it with John Gardner's On Becoming a Novelist, but it remains the concrete foundation in all of my second-year courses. Why? Because Jack shares his experience and opinions on all of the most important issues facing any writer, but he never insists on his theory or method. Instead, by presenting a rich array of I've used this book in my university-level Creative Writing classes for 16 years, and over the years I've not received a desk copy of any other text that can take its place. I supplement it with John Gardner's On Becoming a Novelist, but it remains the concrete foundation in all of my second-year courses. Why? Because Jack shares his experience and opinions on all of the most important issues facing any writer, but he never insists on his theory or method. Instead, by presenting a rich array of quotations expressing the diversity of methods available to the beginning writer--and even for the seasoned writer who needs to stand back and freshen their perspective--Jack helps you to explore and find your own voice and learn to see with your own eyes. This book is not a manual for genre fiction. It frequently points out what the recipe for genre fiction might be, but it always prioritizes literary fiction. Like Gardner, Jack tries to help you create fiction you can be proud of; fiction that is deep, complex, and if lightning strikes, perhaps even original.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Shane

    I didn’t want to judge this book by its cover. But the jacket painting (A Tale from the Decameron by JW Waterhouse) depicts a group of passively seated young females who seem enthralled by the words of a young male storyteller. So the book’s cover reflects its author Jack Hodgins’s old-fashioned approach. He’s written one of those handbooks that stand in for an actual course (of the sort he’s taught for decades), containing so many exercises that if you were to try them all you’d have no time to I didn’t want to judge this book by its cover. But the jacket painting (A Tale from the Decameron by JW Waterhouse) depicts a group of passively seated young females who seem enthralled by the words of a young male storyteller. So the book’s cover reflects its author Jack Hodgins’s old-fashioned approach. He’s written one of those handbooks that stand in for an actual course (of the sort he’s taught for decades), containing so many exercises that if you were to try them all you’d have no time to do your own writing. For instance: ‘Choose one protagonist and one plot line from the exercises you’ve just completed. Within that pattern, answer the following questions’ (there are eight)… Nor did I need to know so much about Hodgins’s own fiction. But then I don’t find his affable voice compelling, a fact scarcely offset by the presence of so many others’ wisdom. To his credit, the ample reading lists offer a rare gender balance. And his lack of insight re second-person point of view is explained by the fact that he wrote this guide when far fewer writers ventured to use it. But this is just one way in which A Passion for Narrative has dated.

  5. 4 out of 5

    N

    My sister bought me this book. She got it for 30p in a library sale. Thanks, sis. ;) However, the fact that it was unceremoniously cast out of my local library system suggests it has not been well loved. That’s a shame, since, as books-about-writing go, it’s not a bad one. The book’s Unique Selling Point (i.e. what makes it vaaaguely different from the thousands of others books-about-writing) is that it quotes extensively from authors. This includes both excerpts from novels and short stories, pl My sister bought me this book. She got it for 30p in a library sale. Thanks, sis. ;) However, the fact that it was unceremoniously cast out of my local library system suggests it has not been well loved. That’s a shame, since, as books-about-writing go, it’s not a bad one. The book’s Unique Selling Point (i.e. what makes it vaaaguely different from the thousands of others books-about-writing) is that it quotes extensively from authors. This includes both excerpts from novels and short stories, plus authors outlining their writing “process”. I can imagine how much of a bitch it must have been for whichever schlub at the publishing house got stuck trying to get permission to reprint each of the hundreds of quotations. But, nonetheless, the end result is effective. Writers are nothing if not pretentious when it comes to their work, so the few times I’ve tried to read books-about-writing that are composed by well-known authors (even those that I love), I’ve found them close to unreadable. Hodgins’ method of cherrypicking the most interesting/insightful quotes makes this mass of pretension a lot more palatable. Hodgins also frequently sets authors up to contradict one another, showing that there are any number of “right” ways to write. The book follows a standard pattern, tackling characterization, setting, structure, etc. in a methodical way. It doesn’t seek to reinvent the wheel, but Hodgins (who is apparently a life-long teacher) displays patience and clarity when setting out the hows and whys of writing. For example, he explains Eliot’s “objective correlative” more simply and effectively than any of my lecturers/professors did during my Lit. degree. There are undoubtedly better books about writing (I recommend Swain’s Techniques of the Selling Writer), and I must admit to skimming parts of this one, but it’s still a good, informative read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Irene

    Picked this guy up after browsing creative writing workshops and their accompanying syllabi. I enjoyed this. You will like this book too if you're a writer interested in learning about narrative from an author's perspective. I've only read Aspects of the Novel, and Related Writings by E.M. Forster previously, and I enjoyed it a lot too. This guide may not do anything for those familiar with the basics but for those who aren't, I highly recommend a read. It's an introductory guide that does not s Picked this guy up after browsing creative writing workshops and their accompanying syllabi. I enjoyed this. You will like this book too if you're a writer interested in learning about narrative from an author's perspective. I've only read Aspects of the Novel, and Related Writings by E.M. Forster previously, and I enjoyed it a lot too. This guide may not do anything for those familiar with the basics but for those who aren't, I highly recommend a read. It's an introductory guide that does not simplify things to the point of being shallow, and it remains instructional without distracting the flow. Hodgins has a clear and memorable manner of explaining the elements of narrative: 1) Setting, 2) Character 3) Plot, 4) Structure 5) Point of View and Voice and 6) Metaphors, Symbols and Allusions. Each chapter goes a little like this. Short preamble about the element in question, Hodgin makes his points, picking quotes from writers to illustrate his arguments, writing exercises and additional texts. What makes this guide easy and quick to read is the friendly and empathetic tone Hodgins employs to commiserate with the reader. He knows it's frustrating and confusing! The openness with which he shares his own feelings/process connects the reader to him, but also makes the reader trust him. Also, Hodgins is not only Canadian but from the west coast. Very cool. (This also explains why many of the quotes are pulled from Canadian canon (Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood, Thomas King).

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Shay

    READ FOR CRWR 314 Only read the assigned chapters, so half the book maybe. Some of it was useful, but a lot of content was quoted from "Writing Fiction" by Burroway, which we were also assigned to read, so it was like reading the same thing twice in most cases. More Canadian authors in here than most texts, which was neat, but I don't know that I learned anything new. If you've never picked up a how-to-write book, this would make a good starting point as it covers all the bases other than the pub READ FOR CRWR 314 Only read the assigned chapters, so half the book maybe. Some of it was useful, but a lot of content was quoted from "Writing Fiction" by Burroway, which we were also assigned to read, so it was like reading the same thing twice in most cases. More Canadian authors in here than most texts, which was neat, but I don't know that I learned anything new. If you've never picked up a how-to-write book, this would make a good starting point as it covers all the bases other than the publication side of things, but I've read lots and have definitely read several that explained things in a way that makes more intuitive sense to me. All writing books say a variation of the same stuff, generally, but when it's told to you in a way that's closer to your own thinking style, it just makes more sense and sticks better, and this book was not that for me.

  8. 5 out of 5

    J.L. Slipak

    This is a book that I have on my writing resource shelf that I often refer to for inspiration and/or help while writing a book. It discusses topics such as: writing good sentences, finding story ideas that are meant for you to write, plot, setting, character, structure, point of view, and voice. It also goes into using metaphors, symbols and allusions correctly and when. Towards the end of the book, it discusses the tedious but necessary process of revising. You get brief notes on fiction writer This is a book that I have on my writing resource shelf that I often refer to for inspiration and/or help while writing a book. It discusses topics such as: writing good sentences, finding story ideas that are meant for you to write, plot, setting, character, structure, point of view, and voice. It also goes into using metaphors, symbols and allusions correctly and when. Towards the end of the book, it discusses the tedious but necessary process of revising. You get brief notes on fiction writers quoted or discussed for inspiration. Overall, I found this book extremely useful and a tool that any writer would appreciate having among their resources. I for one, would recommend you looking into purchasing a copy of this book if you're an author/writer.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Marcus Turner

    I mean it's okay. But for a book that was do hard to find and actually get into the country (i had to import it from overseas for uni study), it's a bit underwhelming and hasn't really added anything I didn't already know. The exercises further on in the book are decent and good stimulus for writing practice. I mean it's okay. But for a book that was do hard to find and actually get into the country (i had to import it from overseas for uni study), it's a bit underwhelming and hasn't really added anything I didn't already know. The exercises further on in the book are decent and good stimulus for writing practice.

  10. 4 out of 5

    C. Chambers

    This was a little less accessible compared to some other writing books I have read recently. That being said, it works well with teaching the staples and the necessary flow of narrative and story-telling.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    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 teachin 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.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Stinson

    Whenever I come back to this book, Jack Hodgins and other writers he quotes have something to say that helps me with my current writing project. I guess I've been learning since last time I read it though, because I found myself just nodding more often than I experienced startling moments of epiphany this time round. JH presents so many viewpoints that any writer is bound to feel validated in how they approach the writing of fiction, and to have some new idea to consider. Whenever I come back to this book, Jack Hodgins and other writers he quotes have something to say that helps me with my current writing project. I guess I've been learning since last time I read it though, because I found myself just nodding more often than I experienced startling moments of epiphany this time round. JH presents so many viewpoints that any writer is bound to feel validated in how they approach the writing of fiction, and to have some new idea to consider.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Steve Goodyear

    I really enjoyed this book--Hodgins drew on a wealth of experience, noticeably polished over years of revising his ideas as he worked with students. I found his style open and supportive, and I liked how he constantly found ways to include other perspectives on topics or ideas, making a well-rounded exposition into the possibilities of fiction writing.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Bateman

    I have a large collection of books about writing fiction. This is the most valuable. Jack Hodgins reviews prevalent thinking, adds his insight and analysis, outlines effective exercises, and points to excellent examples in literature. My only regret is that I haven't been referring to this book more often ... but at least that is something can change starting now. I have a large collection of books about writing fiction. This is the most valuable. Jack Hodgins reviews prevalent thinking, adds his insight and analysis, outlines effective exercises, and points to excellent examples in literature. My only regret is that I haven't been referring to this book more often ... but at least that is something can change starting now.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sylvester

    I liked the specific instructions, which help direct writing practice, and the specific examples from various well-known authors - also the recommended further reading lists. This is a get-down-to-work-and-start-here kind of book. That's what I like. Stephen King's "On Writing" is like that, too - and also good. Lots of resources in this one book alone. I liked the specific instructions, which help direct writing practice, and the specific examples from various well-known authors - also the recommended further reading lists. This is a get-down-to-work-and-start-here kind of book. That's what I like. Stephen King's "On Writing" is like that, too - and also good. Lots of resources in this one book alone.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kat Duncombe

    Helpful and an easy read. The exercises are great, too.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    I've read this book for a creative writing class, and it's a great one. Good clear logical advice through good clear writing. Not slow-going or boring to read. Practical and illuminating. I've read this book for a creative writing class, and it's a great one. Good clear logical advice through good clear writing. Not slow-going or boring to read. Practical and illuminating.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    If you want to write or are only interested in the process, this is a good book to have on hand.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Monique

    Instructional book on the craft of writing. Chapters divided into logical segments. Useful exercises. A good book to use as a reference.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Elina

  21. 4 out of 5

    Joanne-in-Canada

  22. 4 out of 5

    Laura V. Duta

  23. 4 out of 5

    Maha

  24. 4 out of 5

    Beguyu10

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

  26. 5 out of 5

    Denis

  27. 5 out of 5

    Zack Long

  28. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Chesham

  29. 4 out of 5

    Leesa Hanna

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lakshmi

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.