The Lie That Tells a Truth
John Dufresne
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Buy *The Lie That Tells a Truth: A Guide to Writing Fiction* online

The Lie That Tells a Truth: A Guide to Writing Fiction
John Dufresne
W.W. Norton
336 pages
August 2004
rated 5 of 5 possible stars

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Of all the books addressing fiction writing, few are as useful and informative as this one by professional writer/teacher John Dufresne. From the first page, the author challenges his readers, assigning an immediate exercise; instead of endless discussion, Dufresne emphasizes sitting down and doing it.

To that end, he asks for a two-week commitment, one that requires only two actions per day in order to establish a writing routine: three pages of morning writing and 15 minutes of writing by appointment (with yourself), at a designated time each day. That first commitment is a critical step toward the discipline necessary for successful writing.

Dufresne is an accessible teacher, encouraging the writer with a spirit of "you can do this." Thought-provoking quotations are sprinkled throughout the book, each an inspiration for a writing exercise. No one who uses this book will be plagued by the recurring writer’s nightmare of a blank page. Supplied with unlimited writing suggestions, as well as chapters of specific assigned exercises, everthing here goes toward the process.

The next section of what I consider a writer's bible attends to the most basic elements of writing, those relating to the final product. These chapters are specifically devoted to beginnings and endings, plot development, character development, dialogue and point of view. Each is carefully dissected and explained for optimum usage.

Not only is The Lie That Tells the Truth technically savvy, it is virtually indispensable to the serious writer. This is a process that can be intimidating to the point of inaction, but Dufresne is an excellent guide throughout, encouraging writers to give voice to their dreams, to take the action and reap the rewards of their hard work. An excellent resource, this writer’s companion may well be one of the most valuable books in your library.

© 2004 by Luan Gaines for

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