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Imaginative Writing : The Elements of Craft

Imaginative Writing : The Elements of Craft - 03 edition

ISBN13: 978-0321081919

Cover of Imaginative Writing : The Elements of Craft 03 (ISBN 978-0321081919)
ISBN13: 978-0321081919
ISBN10: 0321081919

Cover type: Paperback
Edition: 03
Copyright: 2003
Publisher: Longman, Inc.
Published: 2003
International: No

List price: $41.75

Imaginative Writing : The Elements of Craft - 03 edition

ISBN13: 978-0321081919

Janet Burroway

ISBN13: 978-0321081919
ISBN10: 0321081919

Cover type: Paperback
Edition: 03
Copyright: 2003
Publisher: Longman, Inc.
Published: 2003
International: No

Imaginative Writing is an introductory creative writing text covering the four genres--essay, fiction, poetry, and drama--written by best-selling author Janet Burroway.

Unlike most texts, Imaginative Writing discusses craft before genre. Each of the first five chapters looks at a specific element of craft--Image, Voice, Character, Setting, and Story--from a perspective that crosses all genres. Chapter 6 explores development and revision and serves as a bridge between the craft and genre chapters. The last four chapters examine the genres--Essay, Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. The book's organization allows students to experiment with creative techniques before deciding on a preferred form. Unique "Try-This" exercises help students develop writing skills. The emphasis of Imaginative Writing is on serious play.

Imaginative Writing is part of the Penguin Academics Series. The Penguin Academic Series, in the tradition of Penguin Publishers, offers highly respected, highly affordable, trade-format books by pre-eminent scholars.


  • Unique organization. The first half of the book addresses elements of craft (Image, Voice, Character, Setting, and Story) while the second half explores genres (Essay, Fiction, Poetry, and Drama). This format helps students understand the various creative techniques shared by all forms of imaginative writing before they concentrate on individual genres.
  • "Try-This" Exercises appear throughout each chapter. Provocative and fun, the exercises help students develop the specific writing skills discussed within the text.
  • Is an anthology of more than 100 complete readings in the four genres.
  • Photographs and compelling images open each chapter and include warm-up activities.
  • Appendix A: Collaborative Exercises emphasize the sensory foundations of imaginative writing. Drawn from theater, drawing, therapy, meditation, music and dance, not all of the exercises involve writing, but each can serve as an effective pre-writing prompt.
  • Appendix B: Formats describes standard formats for submitting finished work in each of the four genres.
  • Appendix C: Prosody outlines the basic elements of prosody (the study of versification), including the major units of sound and meter, the principles of rhyme, and common stanza patterns.
  • highly affordable, trade-format books by pre-eminent scholars.

Author Bio

Burroway, Janet : Florida State University

Table of Contents




1. Image.

Image and Imagination.
Concrete, Significant Details.
Metaphor and Simile


"The Giant Water Bug," Annie Dillard.
from A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers.


"Sister Godzilla," Louise Erdrich.
"Car Crash While Hitchhiking," Denis Johnson.


"The Hawk in the Rain," Ted Hughes.
"The Haunted Ruin," Robert Pinsky.
"Facing It," Yusef Komunyakaa.
"The Surface," May Swenson.
"How to Use This Body," David Kirby.
"Why Regret?," Galway Kinnell.


"Act Without Words," Samuel Beckett.
"The Drummer," Athol Fugard.

2. Voice.

Your Voice.
Character Voice.
Point of View.


from Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt.
"Invitation to a Transformation," Vladimir Nabokov.


"In the Kindergarten," Ha Jin.
"The School," Donald Barthelme.


"Order in the Streets," Donald Justice.
"Black Hair," Gary Soto.
"Hawk Roosting," Ted Hughes.
"Kong Looks Back on His Tryout with the Bears," William Trowbridge.
"Father," Hilda Raz.
"A Mown Lawn," Lydia Davis.
"The Language of Bees," Barbara Hamby.


"Handler," and "French Fries," Jane Martin.

3. Character.

As Desire.
As Image, Voice, Action, Thought.
As Presented by the Author.
As Conflict.


"The Inheritance of Tools," Scott Russell Sanders.


"Ysreal," Juno Diaz.


"I Knew a Woman," Theodore Roethke.
"Stonecarver," Carole Simmons Oles.
"My Brother's Work," Stephen Dunn.
"Old Man Hansen Comes in at Ten to," Fred Wah.
"One Flesh," Elizabeth Jennings.
"Old Men Playing Baseball," B.H. Fairchild.
"Portrait of a Writer," Edward Hirsch.


"Brother," Mary Gallagher.

4. Setting.

As the World.
As a Camera.
As Mood and Symbol.
As Action.


"At the Dam," Joan Didion.
"Landscape and Narrative," Barry Lopez.


"Snow," Charles Baxter.


"Deer Ghost," Joy Harjo.
"Earthmoving Malediction," Heather McHugh.
"Vacation," Rita Dove.
"Nude Interrogation," Yusef Komunyakaa.
"Advice from the Extractor," George MacBeth.


"Dutchman," Imamu Amiri Baraka.

5. Story.

As a Journey.
As a Power Struggle.
As Connection/Disconnection.


"Red Sky in the Morning," Patricia Hampl.


"Missing," Robert Olen Butler.
"Worry," Ron Wallace.


"A Story About the Body," Robert Haas.
"Digging for China," Richard Wilbur.
"Short Story," Ellen Bryant Voigt.
"Woodchucks," Maxine Kumin.
"The Hammock," Li-Young Lee.
"Vita Nova," Louise Glück.


"The Battle of Bull Run Always Makes Me Cry," Carole Real.

6. Development and Revision.

Developing a Draft.
Revision and Editing.
The Workshop.


First and Final Drafts of "One Art," Elizabeth Bishop.
"The Opening of Time Lapse: A Revision Narrative," Janet Burroway.
Line Editing.


7. Essay.

Kinds of Essay.
Essay Techniques.
Fact and Truth. @CHAPTER = Readings.
"The Female Body," Margaret Atwood.
"Those Words," Jamaica Kincaid.
"The Knife," Richard Selzer.
"Belongings," Susan Lester.

8. Fiction.

Story and Plot.
Scene and Summary.
Backstory and Flashback.
Text and Subtext.


"The Diamond Mine," Nadine Gordimer.
"Your Fears are Justified," Rick De Marinis.
"Mockingbird," Laurie Berry.
"It's Water, It's Not Going to Kill You," Heather Sellers. @AHEADS = "Tomorrow's Bird," Ian Frazer.

9. Poetry.

Free Verse and Formal Verse.
Imagery, Connotation, and Metaphor.
Density and Intensity.
Prosody, Rhythm, and Rhyme.


"Stillborn," Sylvia Plath.
"The Grammar Lesson," Steve Kowit.
"The Poet, Trying to Surprise God," Peter Meinke.
"Like This Together," Adrienne Rich.
"Romantic, At Horseshoe Key," Enid Shomer.
"Locking Yourself Out, Then Trying to Get Back In," Raymond Carver.
"Prose Poem," James Tate.
"Black Silhouettes of Shrimpers," Dave Smith.
"Ghazal," Aga Shahid Ali.
"Repetition," Ruth Stone.
"The Language of the Brag," Sharon Olds.
"Dream Song 14," John Berryman.
"My Uncle Guillermo Speaks at His Own Funeral," Yvonne Sapia.

10. Drama.

The Difference Between Drama and Fiction.
Sight: Sets, Action, Costumes, Props.
Sound: Nonverbal and Verbal.
Some Notes on Screenwriting.


"The Road to Ruin," Richard Dresser.
"Duet for Bear and Dog," Sybil Rosen.
"Gas," Jose Rivera.
"Eukiah," Lanford Wilson.
"The Philadelphia," David Ives.

Appendix A: Collaborative Exercises.

Appendix B: Formats.

Appendix C: Prosody.

Appendix D: Glossary.