Tell it Slant


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I love how helpful this book is for writing any genre. So many great tips and tricks in these pages! May 28, Lindsay Hickman rated it liked it. I wasn't overly impressed with this book, but I will say it has given me a list of other great authors to read.

This is a very heavily researched book, and you really could take each chapter as a small book in itself.

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Some great writing tips and tricks can be found within, but you really have to take it chunk by chunk with this one. If you are interested in writing it is a must read. Oct 31, Kristin Boldon rated it it was amazing Shelves: writing , , memoir , shelf-sitter. Great and helpful reference. I bought this book because it reviewed well on Amazon. It was a mistake. The premise for my complaints is this: The book was overly simplistic and it attempted to provide motivation. Motivation: Miller and Paola give ideas of things to write about, like to write about your earliest memory.

Tell It Slant

I can only conclude that the anticipated audience here is high school and college students who have to write for a required course. That being said, I could see the book being helpful to someone who is a complete beginner to writing or who needs some basic help for a writing course.

Emily Dickinson's 1129. "Tell all the truth but tell it slant" (Analysis & Interpretation)

The most fascinating aspect of this book occurs in chapter eight: The Particular Challenges of Creative Nonfiction. When Oprah and many other readers of A Million Little Pieces discovered that the author, who had published his book as a memoir, had not had many of the experiences he wrote about in first person, they felt outraged and betrayed. Another option, of course, would be to publish your work as fiction, although it has both fictional and nonfictional elements.

I believe this would allow greater freedom. Miller and Paola note with criticism that works published as fiction with nonfiction elements receive none of the scrutiny of the opposite: works published as nonfiction with fictional elements. There is a section in chapter eight called Emotional Truth Versus Factual Truth that illustrates the slippery slope in memoir writing.

The authors are not referring to perception when they use the term emotional truth, but rather being true to the emotion that memories hold. Another point is that memoir writers may want to combine several people from their past into one character or change the order of events around for some purpose, perhaps to illustrate an important theme better.

Miller and Paola show the argument as fiction vs. When a memoir is labeled nonfiction, I believe it should be true to reality as much as is remembered, and then true to perception. In this case, the author may be the only one who knows that he was true to his memory and to reality. When does it lag and become plodding? May 02, Candice rated it liked it Shelves: nonfiction , read-or-started I read a chapter here and there, usually before bedtime or while eating breakfast, throughout the 12 weeks of a creative nonfiction writing workshop I took this spring.

I didn't read much of the anthology of essays at the end, but I'm glad I was able to find a used copy at Powells that had them newer editions have removed the essays because they helped illuminate the authors' points in the main chapters and were interesting and well written. Aug 30, Ericka Scott Nelson rated it really liked it. Writing something—let alone publishing it! Tell It Slant approaches writing creative nonfiction in a way I would call…comforting. Brenda Miller and Suzanne Paola are both writing teachers and accomplished writers themselves.

They offer not only advice but their own experience with writing, their own creative texts, and also their own insights in a way that makes successful writing seem within reach. The book is subtitled Creating, Refining, and Publishing Creative Nonfiction, which is essentially the organizational pattern of the material. It seems so much of the difficulty of writing is simply writing—just overcoming procrastination and mental roadblocks and setting pen to paper, so these prompts are a valuable resource for motivation and idea generation. Once you have some idea of your content, you can think about what form that content might take.

What form would best convey the content and allow it to really speak to readers? I was amazed by all the possibilities, especially by how melding forms traditionally viewed as distinct can provide a fresh perspective. Many of the forms also take advantage of electronic communication. These chapters encourage you to think creatively and explore how a new form might invigorate your writing.

Miller and Paola strongly advocate establishing a writing community for the mutual sharing and review of work in progress. The myth of the lonely, isolated artist is ultimately not a productive or desirable example to emulate. Groups are effective and yet can present challenges in maintaining productivity and providing truly constructive feedback. The authors, therefore, provide many suggestions for making groups effective, nurturing communities, as well as cautionary points on avoiding the pitfalls to which groups can be prone.

Anyone interested in publishing will find this third portion of the book to be an excellent resource. Again, as writers, Miller and Paola have many valuable insights to offer based on their years of experience. If one does wish to look into publication, however, as mentioned, this is addressed. This would also be a great resource for teachers.

Sep 21, S. This is kind of a lie because I didn't read the whole thing. But I'm gonna count it. Because I got the gist. Jan 15, Kathy rated it it was amazing. I loved this book so much that I'm going to hunt down the first edition, which has twice as many pages, and read that too. Feb 23, C. Detailed in both heart and craft, this book lays out resources and experiences in writing that both tell story, and tell how to story. But then, stories teach best, and Miller and Paola hold that fact true, and then demonstrate its truth.

Through the liberal integration of excerpts, author quotes, and the authors' own writing and personal challenges and reflections, SLANT brings its reader concrete and clear guidance and grounding in the work of word-craft, and a diverse array of examples to Oh! Through the liberal integration of excerpts, author quotes, and the authors' own writing and personal challenges and reflections, SLANT brings its reader concrete and clear guidance and grounding in the work of word-craft, and a diverse array of examples to draw from.

I especially enjoyed the prompts and challenges closing out each chapter. Jun 29, Vonetta rated it liked it. Great overview of the creative nonfiction writing process! It definitely covers some of the specifics of essay and memoir writing persona, emotional truth, etc , and adds in extra about publishing. Handy guide for those just starting out telling the truth.

Oct 31, Ursula Pike rated it it was amazing Shelves: non-fiction , craft. Great advice! I feel like this is one of those books I should read every year to pick up what I missed. Oct 05, Rocco rated it liked it Shelves: technical , nonfiction.

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Lots of useful information and some good essays, but the writing style of the craft sections wasn't my favorite. Apr 12, Isla McKetta rated it really liked it.

Tell it Slant — Saint Francis College

Having given away almost all of my writing how-to books years ago, I was surprised at how much I liked this book, how much I learned from it. An excellent book about creative nonfiction.


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Very useful and comprehensive manual for nonfiction writing, particularly memoir. I find the exercises and perspectives on parts of the process very helpful for teaching. Jul 13, Julie rated it liked it Shelves: professional , non-fiction , writing , anthology. I found the writing advice pretty basic granted, I've read a lot of writing books but the anthology was well curated.

Definitely look for the first edition with the anthology. Excellent resource for bloggers and others wanting to hone their creative nonfiction skills.

Mar 06, Lila Kladreau rated it liked it. I read this book initially for a creative nonfiction class then repurchased it many years later for a re-read as I couldn't get some of the stories out of my head. Reading it both then and now, I found the actual teaching section of the book to be light on concrete advice. However, they used examples to excellent effect regularly. A particularly memorable section quotes a paragraph from a story written by a surgeon describing a surgery.

It is a spectacular moment in a fairly bland tale and works I read this book initially for a creative nonfiction class then repurchased it many years later for a re-read as I couldn't get some of the stories out of my head. It is a spectacular moment in a fairly bland tale and works well to make their point. The second half of the book is a collection of short stories and a couple odd pieces better categorized closer to poetry in my mind.

A Short Analysis of Emily Dickinson’s ‘Tell all the Truth but tell it slant’

Some of these stories are incredible and have stuck with me all these years, constantly coming up in discussions. The story about a shooter on campus is particularly powerful, given its unique approach and the handling of such emotionally packed material. Unfortunately, the collected stories are not all as powerful or clearly structured. I find them incredibly uneven when taken as a whole and definitely understand my professor's choice to only include a few of the stories in our required reading.

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