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Composition and Creative Writing

Definition

"literature, e.g. novels or short stories, describing imaginary people and events"

"fiction." The Penguin English Dictionary. London: Penguin, 2007. Credo Reference. Web. 18 January 2012.

Points of View

FIRST PERSON - When the narrator speaks using "I" and describes the interior thoughts of that narrator and is limited to descriptions of events through that narrator's viewpoint. For instance, "When I flew around the world in a hot-air balloon the one thing I kept thinking again and again was how cool I was."

SECOND PERSON - A less common point-of-view, it is when the narration uses "you." For instance, "You want to get out of bed but you know how cold it is in the room. You lay there, having already turned the alarm off, willing to risk falling back to sleep and missing your first day at the popsicle factory."

THIRD PERSON - There are a lot of options when it comes to third-person point of view (i.e. an omniscient narrator) but they all use "he/she/they." For instance, As Fred walked down the street he purchased a bouqet of flowers for no reason from the street vendor and gave them to the first person he saw."

Literature Resource Center

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One of the best ways to become a better writer is to read and study great writing.

Check out Literature Resource Center for a bevy of literary criticism, author biographies, and much more.

Great Quotes

What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure. --Samuel Johnson

We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. --Ernest Hemingway

Like most—maybe all— writers, I learned to write by writing and, by example, by reading books. --Francine Prose

A word after a word after a word is power. --Margaret Atwood

I try to leave out the parts that people skip. --Elmore Leonard

In my opinion it is not the writer's job to solve such problems as God, pessimism, etc; his job is merely to record who, under what conditions, said or thought what about God or pessimism. The artist is not meant to be a judge of his characters and what they say; his only job is to be an impartial witness. I heard two Russians in a muddled conversation about pessimism, a conversation that solved nothing; all I am bound to do is reproduce that conversation exactly as I heard it. Drawing conclusions is up to the jury, that is, the readers. My only job is to be talented, that is, to know how to distinguish important testimony from unimportant, to place my characters in the proper light and speak their language. --Anton Chekhov

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