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Serious Daring

Creative Writing in Four Genres

Lisa Roney

Publication Date - 02 December 2014

ISBN: 9780199941629

608 pages
6 x 9 inches

In Stock

There is no single way to teach or learn creative writing. But no matter the method or genre, one lesson is clear--it requires serious daring.


Top Three Reasons to Adopt This Book

* Flexible Structure. This innovative text features a flexible organization that allows for different course structures and various teaching approaches.
* Practical Lessons. In addition to a comprehensive introduction to Creative Writing craft, the book provides practical tips and poses questions to prepare students for continuing their writing lives long term.
* Fresh Readings. The anthology offers up a fresh mix of classic and newer reading selections that promote step-by-step instruction in the craft and encourage further discussion.

About the Author(s)

Lisa Roney is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Central Florida.


"Serious Daring is serious and it challenges, but puts forth an invitation to write that is student-focused."--Martha Petry, Jackson College

"A refreshingly honest and pragmatic approach to teaching Creative Writing."--Michelle Weisman, College of the Ozarks

"Serious Daring eases the beginning creative writer into the writing craft. Roney writes as the students' advocate as she guides them through the topics and techniques that Creative Writing instructors value most."--Aaron Clark, Brookhaven College

Table of Contents

    To Instructors
    To Students
    Part I. Craft Matters
    1. Serious Daring: The First Step on a Writer's Path
    Sources of Material
    Getting Started
    Guidepost: Directions You Might Go
    Destination: Poetry
    Main Features of Poetry
    Questions about Your Poetry
    2. Imagery and Figurative Language
    Concrete and Abstract language
    -- John Haines, "On the Mountain"
    Accuracy and Freshness
    --Rae Armantrout, "Home Federal"
    Denotation and Connotation
    Figurative Language
    --Table 2.1: Tropes
    Guidepost: Risk-Taking
    3. Sound and Rhythm
    Breath and Rhythm
    Choosing Sounds
    Repetition and Sound Patterns
    --Yusef Komunyakaa, "Salt"
    --Table 3.1: Sentence-Level Schemes
    Guidepost: Timing
    4. Form
    Breaking Lines, Making Stanzas
    --Table 4.1: Enjambed and End-Stopped Lines in Lynn Emanuel's "The Out-of-Body Experience"
    Free Verse
    --Table 4.2: Metrical Feet
    --James Tate, "Miss Cho Composes in the Cafeteria"
    Poetic Forms
    --Richard Frost, "For a Brother"
    Prose Forms
    Guidepost: Adaptability
    Destination: Creative Nonfiction
    Main Features of Creative Nonfiction
    Questions about Your Creative Nonfiction
    5. Memory
    Changing Views of Memoir
    The Rise of Memoir
    Personal Memory as Literary Tool
    Memory and Imagination
    Guidepost: Self-Awareness
    6. Research
    Moving Out from Autobiographical Material
    Methods and Means
    Personal Essays
    Literary Journalism and Immersion
    Research in Poetry, Fiction, and Drama
    Guidepost: Curiosity
    Destination: Fiction
    Main Features of Fiction
    Questions about Your Fiction
    7. Description and Setting
    Worlds on Pages
    Setting as Character
    Scene, Summary, and Exposition
    --Table 7.1: Examples of Scene, Summary, and Exposition
    Special Concerns in Scripts
    Guidepost: Attentiveness
    8. Character
    Methods of Characterization
    Depth of Character
    Secondary Characters
    Guidepost: Empathy
    9. Plot
    Narrative Arcs
    --Figure 9.1: Freytag's Pyramid Variations
    Moving around in time
    Plot and Worldview
    Guidepost: Foresight
    10. Point of View and Voice
    First, Second, and Third person
    Narrative Distance
    Table 10.1: Points of View
    Unreliable Narrators
    Voice vs. Character
    Guidepost: Individuality
    Destination: Plays
    Main Features of Plays
    Questions About Your Plays
    11. Action and Dialogue
    How Dialogue Works
    Table 11.1: Modes of Dialogue
    Dialogue and Action in Concert
    The Objective Correlative
    Guidepost: Listening Skills
    12. Performance
    Table 12.1: Stage Directions
    One Script, Many Performances
    Distinctions between Stage and Screen
    Performing Poetry and Prose
    Guidepost: Collaborative Spirit
    Destination: Hybrid Forms and Emerging Media
    Main Features of These Forms
    Questions About Writing in Hybrid Forms and Emerging Media
    Part II. Writing Life Matters
    13. Reading as a Writer
    Reading: The Crucial Factor
    How to Read as a Writer
    Two Case Studies: Hemingway and Wojahn
    --Ernest Hemingway, "Hills Like White Elephants"
    --David Wojahn, "Cold Glow: Icehouses"
    14. After Brainstorming
    Why We Workshop
    How We Workshop
    --Table 14.1: Types of Commentary
    15. The Literary vs. Genre Debate
    Genre Fiction and Academic Values
    The Many Roles of Writers in Society
    Literary Qualities
    Melodrama, Sentimentality, and Stereotype
    16. The Writing Life
    Profession or Avocation?
    How Writers Make a Living
    Charting Your Own Future
    Part III. Anthology
    Agee, James. "Knoxville: Summer, 1915" (fiction)
    Alexie, Sherman. "Superman and Me" (on writing)
    Ali, Agha Shahid. "Stars" (poetry)
    Alvarez, Lynne. "On Sundays" (drama)
    Armantrout, Rae. "Home Federal" (poem included in Chapter 2)
    Becker, Robin. "The Children's Concert" (poetry)
    Block, Mary. "Moving Song" (poetry)
    Blumenthal, Michael. "On Not Bringing Your Mother to Creative Writing Class" (on writing)
    Borden, William. "The Blues Street Jazz Club Rehearses" (drama)
    Byrne, James. "Sestina for R" (poetry)
    Calvino, Italo. "All at One Point" (fiction)
    Cofer, Judith Ortiz. "The Changeling" (poetry)
    Cortázar, Julio. "Letter to a Young Lady in Paris" (fiction)
    Díaz, Junot. "Edison, New Jersey" (fiction)
    Dillard, Annie. "Total Eclipse" (creative nonfiction)
    Dischell, Stuart. "She Put Her Lipstick on in the Dark." (poetry)
    Doctorow, E. L. Excerpt from World's Fair (fiction)
    Dubus, Andre, III. "Tracks and Ties" (creative nonfiction)
    Emanuel, Lynn. "Out of Body Experience" (poetry)
    Erdrich, Louise. "Saint Marie" (fiction)
    Fill, Simon. "Night Visits" (drama)
    Fowler, Connie May. "Connie May Is Going to Win the Lottery This Week" (on writing)
    Frost, Richard. "For a Brother" (poetry included in Chapter 4)
    Gallagher, Tess. "Ode to My Father" (on writing; poetry)
    Gilmour, Sherine. "Little Boys" (poetry)
    Gutkind, Lee. "Teeth" (creative nonfiction)
    Hadas, Rachel. "Mnemonic." (poetry)
    Haines, John. "On the Mountain" (poetry included in Chapter 2)
    Hayes, Terrance. "The Golden Shovel" (poetry)
    Hemingway, Ernest. "Hills Like White Elephants." (fiction included in Chapter 13)
    Hoagland, Tony. "America" (poetry)
    Hodgman, Ann. "No Wonder They Call Me a Bitch" (creative nonfiction)
    Joudah, Fady. "Sleeping Trees" (poetry)
    Komunyakaa, Yusef. "Salt" (poetry included in Chapter 3)
    Kuusisto, Stephen. "Letter from Venice" (creative nonfiction)
    Levis, Larry. "At the Grave of My Guardian Angel: St. Louis Cemetery, New Orleans" (poetry)
    Li, Yiyun. "Son" (fiction)
    Markarian, Michele. "Phoning It In" (drama)
    McPherson, Sandra. "To a Penny Postcard, © 1911" (poetry)
    Minot, Susan. "Hiding" (fiction)
    Moore, Dinty W. "Son of Mr. Green Jeans: A Meditation on Missing Fathers." (creative nonfiction)
    Morrison, Toni. "Peril" (on writing)
    Moses, Itamar. "Men's Intuition" (drama)
    Mueller, Lisel. "Spell for a Traveler" (poetry)
    Mullen, Harryette. "Tree" (poetry)
    Neruda, Pablo. "Your Feet" (poetry)
    O'Brien, Tim. "How to Tell a True War Story" (fiction)
    Offut, Chris. "Out of the Woods" (fiction)
    Ortega, Julio. "Las Papas" (fiction)
    Ostriker, Alicia Suskin. "The Orange Cat" (poetry)
    Palmer, Michael. "The Cord" (poetry)
    Panning, Anne. "Remembering, I Was Not There" (creative nonfiction)
    Poissant, David James. "The History of Flight" (fiction)
    Purpura, Lia. "On Looking Away: A Panoramic" (creative nonfiction)
    Russell, Karen. "St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves" (fiction)
    Sedaris, David. "The Drama Bug" (creative nonfiction)
    Shannon, Christopher. "Apollo (at) Eleven" (poetry)
    Smock, Frederick. "A Poet's Education" (on writing)
    Soto, Gary. "What the Wall Street Bailout Means to Me" (poetry)
    Stokesbury, Leon. "An Unsent Message to My Brother in His Pain" (poetry)
    Su, Adrienne. "Four Sonnets about Food" (poetry)
    Swain, Bara. "Critical Care" (drama)
    Tate, James. "Miss Cho Composes in the Cafeteria" (poetry included in Chapter 4)
    Thompson, Craig. Excerpt from Carnet de Voyage (graphic narrative)
    West, Amber. "Pirate's Admonition" (poetry)
    Williams, William Carlos. "Young Sycamore" (poetry)
    Wojahn, David. "Cold Glow: Icehouses" (poetry included in Chapter 13)
    Young, Al. "A Little More Traveling Music" (poetry)
    Zolynas, Al. "Love in the Classroom" (poetry)
    Appendix A: Manuscript Formats
    --A1: Poetry
    -- A2: Prose
    -- A3: Plays
    Appendix B: Verse Forms