Free Within Ourselves: Fiction Lessons For Black Authors 1st Edition, Kindle Edition
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In her introduction, Jewell Parker Rhodes writes: "Never (in four years of college or five years of graduate school) was I assigned an exercise or given a story example that included a person of color...While the educational system and the publishing world have become progressively more welcoming of African-American authors, there is still little attention to educating, supporting, and sustaining the writing process of African-American authors. Free Within Ourselves is a solid first step--it is the book I wished I had when I started out as a writer. It is meant to be a song of encouragement for African-American artisits and visionaries. Free Within Ourselves is a step-by-step introduction to fictional technique, exploring story ideas, and charting one's progress, as well as a resource guide for publishing fiction."
For the legions of people who have a novel stuck in their word processors, help is finally on the way! Free Within Ourselves is an excellent guide to all the elements necessary to crafting fiction: character development, point of view, plot, atmosphere, dialogue, diction, sentence variety, and revision. Writing techniques are taught using exercises, journaling, story examples, and analyses of famous writing fragments, as well as several complete stories (including those of James Baldwin, Zora Neale Hurston, and Edwidge Dandicat, among others). The book is further enhanced by inspirational advice from successful contemporary black writers (such as Bebe Moore Campbell, Rita Dove, Henry Louis Gates, John Edgar Wideman, and others), a bibliography, and a guide to workshops, journals, magazines, contests, and fellowships supportive of black arts.
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"A compelling page-turner that will keep readers hoping against hope that everything will, magically, turn out for the best." --The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Jewell Parker Rhodes's characters hover. They dance and sing and cry and whisper secrets in your ear." --Emerge
Because Rhodes has written a rich and vibrant guide to creating fiction, and she's engaged a whole community of celebrated writers to show us how it's done. Like the authors of many such books, Rhodes touches on all the expected aspects of fiction writing: character, plot, viewpoint, description, dialogue, theme, and revision. But as Rhodes takes a different approach, reading this book is like coming upon a familiar sight from a completely new angle. For instance, fiction writers tell stories. That's what they do. But black Americans, because slaves were not allowed to read or write, come from a strong and enduring oral storytelling tradition, a tradition that exists, in various forms, even today. Find a storyteller, recommends Rhodes, and write a page in his or her voice. "Listen for the 'gaps' in one of your family's stories," she says. "Listen for the silences, for what might be left unsaid, the secrets, then--imagine." Especially fine, too, is Rhodes's chapter on dialogue, which includes a section on subtext and a fascinating discussion about dialect, particularly apropos, as "African Americans often shift between standard and Black English."
Unlike the authors of many such books, Rhodes is well aware that most of us don't have eight hours a day to sit, uninterrupted, composing. There are jobs, dishes, children, and life to be lived. Still, she reminds us, "slowing down doesn't mean stopping." Do what you can. And remember: "This is your one and only life. Don't cheat yourself on your goals." --Jane Steinberg--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B003IS76AS
- Publisher : Main Street Books; 1st edition (March 31, 2010)
- Publication date : March 31, 2010
- Language : English
- File size : 955 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 354 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,441,341 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
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anyway great read!