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Imaginative Writing / Edition 4

Imaginative Writing / Edition 4

by Janet Burroway
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For courses in Introduction to Creative Writing or Creative Writing in English or Creative Writing Departments.

Written by bestselling author Janet Burroway, Imaginative Writing, covers all four genres: creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and drama. This textbook discusses elements of craft common to all creative writing before delving into the individual genres. After an introduction, the next five chapters each investigate a specific element of craft—Image, Voice, Character, Setting, and Story—from a perspective that crosses all genres. Nearly half of the selections in all four genres are new. New 'Try This' exercises give students plenty of practice. Imaginative Writing is a very popular book for courses on teaching the craft of creative writing.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780134053240
Publisher: Pearson
Publication date: 11/06/2014
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 111,305
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

JANET BURROWAY is the author of plays, poetry, essays, children’s books, and eight novels including The Buzzards, Raw Silk (runner up for the National Book Award), Opening Nights, Cutting Stone, and Bridge of Sand. Her other publications include a collection of personal essays, Embalming Mom, in addition to a volume of poetry, Material Goods, and three children’s books in verse, The Truck on the Track, The Giant Jam Sandwich, and The Perfect Pig. Her plays Medea with Child (The Reva Shiner Award), Sweepstakes, Division of Property (Arts & Letters Award), and Parts of Speech have received readings and productions in New York, London, San Francisco, Hollywood, Chicago, and various regional theaters. Her textbook Writing Fiction, now in its ninth edition, is the most widely used creative writing text in the United States. Her most recent books are a memoir, Losing Tim, and a collection of essays she has edited, A Story Larger Than My Own: Women Writers Look Back on Their Lives and Careers. She is Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor Emerita at the Florida State University in Tallahassee and has most recently taught in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Northwestern University.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 Invitation to the Writer

You …

… and writing …

… and reading …

… and this book …

… and your journal …

Journal Excerpts

Ayelet Waldman

Billy Collins

Cris Mazza

Patricia Henley

Philip Graham

A word about your workshop …

Part I  The Elements of Craft

Chapter 2 Image

Image and Imagination

Concrete, Significant Details

Figures of Speech


Creative Nonfiction

Annie Dillard

from Heaven and Earth in Jest

David Sedaris

Standing By


Tobias Wolff

Bullet in the Brain

Jamaica Kincaid



Roger Bonair-Agard

American History looks for light—a prayer for the survival of Barack Obama

Billy Collins

Snow Day

Yusef Komunyakaa

Facing It


Jane Martin

French Fries

Chapter 3 Voice

Your Voice



Character Voice

Point of View


Creative Nonfiction

Alice Walker

Beauty: When the Other Dancer Is the Self

Warren J. Bowe

Guns for Teachers


George Saunders

Victory Lap

Jorge Luis Borges

The Book of Sand


Alicia Ostriker

Wrong About the Horse

Barbara Hamby

Ode to American English

Adam J. Ruben

The Grad Student Rap


Chuck O’Connor

High Hard Ones a Play

Chapter 4 Character

Character as Desire

Character as Image

Character as Voice

Character as Action

Character as Thought

Character as Presented by the Author

Character as Conflict

Stock and Flat Characters


Creative Nonfiction

Aleksandar Hemon

The Book of My Life

Benjamin Percy

Me vs. Animals


Richard Bausch

Tandolfo the Great


Theodore Roethke

I Knew a Woman

Carole Simmons Oles


Elizabeth Jennings

One Flesh

Kaylin Haught

God Says Yes to Me


Molly Campbell

Telephone Bob

Chapter 5 Setting

Setting as the World

Setting as a Camera

Setting as Mood and Symbol

Setting as Action


Creative Nonfiction

Joan Didion

At the Dam


Donald Barthelme

The School

Angela Carter

The Werewolf


Sherman Alexie

At Navajo Monument Valley Tribal School

John Freeman


Philip Appleman

Nobody Dies in the Spring

Yusef Komunyakaa

Nude Interrogation


David Ives

The Philadelphia

Chapter 6 Story

As a Journey

As a Power Struggle

As Connection and Disconnection


Creative Nonfiction

Patricia Hampl

Red Sky in the Morning


David Foster Wallace

Incarnations of Burned Children

Scott Blackwood

One of Us Is Hidden Away


Robert Hass

A Story About the Body

Albert Goldbarth

Columbine High School/Littleton, CO

Maxine Kumin


Li-Young Lee

The Hammock


Lanford Wilson


Chapter 7 Development and Revision

Developing a Draft





The Workshop


Elizabeth Bishop: First and Final Drafts of “One Art”

Patty Seyburn: “Anatomy of Disorder”

Janet Burroway: The Opening of Indian Dancer

Part II  The Genres

Chapter 8 Creative Nonfiction

The Essay and Creative Nonfiction

Memoir and the Personal Essay

Techniques of Creative Nonfiction

Fact and Truth


Gayle Pemberton

Do He Have Your Number, Mr. Jeffrey?

Margaret Atwood

The Female Body

S. L. Wisenberg

Margot’s Diary

Michael Chabon

Ragnarok Boy

Creative Nonfiction Format

Chapter 9 Fiction

Story and Plot

Scene and Summary

Backstory and Flashback

Text and Subtext


Amy Bloom

The Story

Ernest Hemingway

A Very Short Story

Ursula K. Le Guin

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Edith Pearlman

Self Reliance

Ron Carlson

Bigfoot Stole My Wife

Fiction Format

Chapter 10 Poetry

Formal and Free Verse

Working with Sound

The Poetic Line

Imagery, Connotation, and Metaphor

Density and Intensity

Finding the Poem


Gerald Stern

Columbia the Gem

Sylvia Plath


Steve Kowit

The Grammar Lesson

Tony Hoagland

There Is No Word

Grace Paley


Erin Belieu

Love Is Not an Emergency

Sharon Olds

The Language of the Brag

Nick Laird


Poetry Format

Chapter 11 Drama

The Difference Between Drama and Fiction

Sight: Sets, Action, Costumes, Props

Sound: Verbal and Nonverbal

Structure: Making a Scene

The Ten-Minute Play


Anton Chekhov

The Proposal

José Rivera


William Dunne

Good Morning, Romeo

Joe DiPietro

Executive Dance

Drama Format

Appendix A: A Basic Prosody

Appendix B: Line Editing




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