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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Which writing book WAS it?

   
Author Topic: Which writing book WAS it?
zerostone
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Maybe one of you smart folks can help me with this.

When I was a teenager, back in the Cretaceous, I read a book on writing that had an interesting insight.
I've tried finding it, without any luck. So I'm hoping one of you smart folks has read it recently enough to give me the title and author.


Anyway, here's what I remember:

The author illustrated a point by describing a short story he'd published, I believe the story was called, "Thief."

The author's summary of the story was this:

A boy goes fishing. He lands a trout. The boy is distracted for a moment, and when he turns back to the trout, he finds that
a hawk has landed on it. The boy is angry. The hawk shrieks at the boy. The boy sees something undefinable in the hawk's eyes, and
let's it fly away with the fish to feed its chicks. The boy walks home. His father asks him if he caught anything, and the boy says, "No."


This story summary was followed by the author's point. The point was that to try and tease a 'theme' out
of the story was doomed to failure. No academics would find it useful to analyze. But for reader's the
story was simple, yet memorable because it illustrated some 'mystery.'
Not mystery as in whodonit, but rather some confluence of events and situation which seems to point at some deeper reality.

Anyway, can anyone tell me what writing book this is from?

Thanks!!


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Teraen
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No idea. But it sounds good. Let me know if you figure it out! I'd like to add a book like that to my Amazon list...
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Pyre Dynasty
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Never underestimate the ability of an academic to distill a theme out of anything.

Sorry I can't help you find the book.


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tchernabyelo
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I'm afraid my Google-fu is not strong on this one, either.

Bu I agree with the above point - I'll bet any number of people could decide there was a "theme" in that story, whether or not the author intended there to be one, which is actually another important lesson to learn - that no matter what you as a writer intend to "say" (or not say) with your fiction, you have NO control over what the reader takes away from your story, because they'll overlay your words onto their context, not yours.


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WBSchmidt
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Could this be it?

Writing fiction: an introduction to the craft
By Garry Disher

http://www.google.com/search?tbs=bks:1&tbo=p&q=thief+story+trout+subject:%22writing%22&num=10


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zerostone
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The last might be it. I'll try and check around.

THANKS!!


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