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Cover for Turning Life into Fiction

Turning Life into Fiction

Robin Hemley


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A highly entertaining and indispensable manual on how to write good fiction

If you want to write at all, whether from real life or not, you must be willing and able to use your imagination. That means you must be willing to take risks and sometimes look the fool. You must be willing to transform experience, not simply record it. If you were a good liar, daydreamer, or troublemaker as a child, you'll probably make a good fiction writer. Daydreams, lies, and trouble. That's the stuff of fiction.

In Turning Life into Fiction, Robin Hemley offers a highly entertaining and in-depth manual—with writing exercises on how to convert real life into good storytelling. He covers a wide range of subjects, including how to record and generate ideas from daily life and how to write effectively using true anecdotes, real places, and real people. A self-proclaimed liar and thief, Hemley also addresses the legal and ethical concerns of "borrowing" experience from the lives of strangers and loved ones.

Lively, informative, and inspirational, Turning Life into Fiction is an invaluable text for any fiction writer. First published in 1994, this new edition is updated and expanded to include nearly a dozen short stories that Hemley refers to throughout
the book.

Graywolf Press, 9781555974442, 256pp.

Publication Date: May 2, 2006

About the Author

Robin Hemley is the author of seven award-winning books of fiction and nonfiction. He is the director of the Nonfiction Writing Program at the University of Iowa.