CHAPTER ONE: The Fictive Dream and How to Induce It 5

To Dream Is Not to Sleep—Sympathy— Identification—Empathy—The Final Step: The Transported Reader

CHAPTER TWO: All About Suspense or Pass the Mustard, I'm Biting My Nails 21

Suspense Defined—Lighting the Fuse

CHAPTER THREE: Of Wimps and Wackos: Creating Truly Memorable Characters 33

Wimps—Characters Worth Knowing—Character and Competence—The Wacky Factor—Character Contrast and Setting—The Ruling Passions—Dual Characters

CHAPTER FOUR: The "P" Word (Premise) Revisited: Part One: The Concept Is Explained and Simplified 49

A Rose by Any Other Name Is Not a Banana— Finding a Premise for a Particular Story—Sorting

Out the Babble of Terms—Premises at Work—A Mighty Example—Types of Premises

CHAPTER FIVE: The "P" Word (Premise) Revisited: .

Part Two: The Novelist's Magic Wand 63

Premise Prestidigitation—Premise-Making for Fun and Profit—The Multipremise Novel—Mastering the Technique of Writing with a Premise

CHAPTER SIX: On Voice or The "Who" Who Tells the Tale 79

Why the Who Ain't You—The Roar of the Lion: Using a Strong Narrative Voice—The First versus Third Pseudo-Rule and Other Myths—The Writer Pumping Iron: Developing Your Voice

CHAPTER SEVEN: The Author/Reader Contract or

Don't Promise a Primrose and Deliver a Pickle 99

The Basic Contract—Genre—Mainstream— Literary—The Contract beyond the Conventions— The Unreliable Narrator—Playing Fair

CHAPTER EIGHT: The Seven Deadly Mistakes 111

1. Timidity—2. Trying to Be Literary—3. Ego-Writing—4. Failure to Learn to Re-dream the Dream—5. Failure to Keep Faith with Yourself— 6. Wrong Lifestyle—7. Failure to Produce

CHAPTER NINE: Writing with Passion 137

Why Now Is the Best Time in History to Be a Fiction Writer—The James N. Frey 100 Percent Guarantee of Success—Creating a Masterpiece

Tell them to write as honestly as they can. Tell them to ponder their characters to make sure that the emotions their characters feel and the decisions their characters make—their choices, their courses of action—are consistent with the characters they have envisioned. And tell them to check and recheck each sentence to be sure they have communicated what they intended to communicate. And to ask themselves, What does this sentence say? Are its nuances the nuances I want? Tell them that's what they have to do if they aspire to write a damn good novel.



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