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Craft of Writing Review    



The Lie That Tells a Truth: A Guide to Writing Fiction
by John Dufresne
W. W. Norton & Company, 2003
Hardcover, $25.95 ( 298 pages)
ISBN: 0-393-05751-8

I can't remember ever reading a manual on the craft of writing that had me laughing from page to page as I did reading John Dufresne's The Lie That Tells a Truth. It is a tribute to his teaching style that he makes writing a natural activity as the numerous exercises in the book trigger ideas, prose and future book deals.

Dufresne doesn't believe in "writer's block" -- either you want to write or you don't. If you are finding excuses or putting other activities first, you don't want to write. It may be that you want to be an author without the labor of writing.

His "guide to writing fiction" is divided into three sections: The Process; The Product; and Other Matters. The Process addresses the writer's lifestyle, the truth about writer's block, and opening the writer's mind to possibility.  The Product deals with the elements of fiction, place, and short short fiction. Other Matters discusses the importance of writers as readers; a list of books every writer needs; and common grammatical pitfalls.

The Lie That Tells a Truth is a great addition to your "craft of writing" library for the humor, literary quotes about writing, exercises, and literary anecdotes.

John Dufresne is the author of three novels. He teaches creative writing at Florida International University and lives in Dania Beach, Florida, with his wife and son.

Joyce Dixon
Southern Scribe Reviews


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