Skip to main navigation Skip to main content

Turning Life into Fiction

Robin Hemley
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, 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--including 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 several short stories that Hemley refers to throughout the book.

Share Title

$16.00
ISBN
978-1-55597-444-2
Format
Paperback
Publication Date
Subject
Pages
256
Trim Size
6 x 9
A highly entertaining and indispensable manual on how to write good fiction

About the Author

Robin  Hemley
Credit: Margie Hemley
Robin Hemley is the author of several award-winning books of fiction and nonfiction, including Turning Life into Fiction and The Last Studebaker. He has been the Director of the Nonfiction Writing Program at Iowa University.

https://robinhemley.com/
More by author

Praise

  • “An enlightening and even inspiring guide to utilizing elements of one’s own life and of one’s family history as fodder for writing novels and short stories.”—Booklist
  • “If you write fiction, listen up, look around, and take note. Why strain your brain making things up when you can transform real life into stories worth telling? Hemley recommends keeping a journal (‘It’s akin to an artist’s sketchbook’), writing down your dreams (the unconscious is a great source of free material), and mining all those crazy stories your grandmother used to tell. Then combine bits and pieces from these sources, take one great mind leap (and many drafts) and—voila—you've got fiction.”—Amazon.com
Back to Table of Contents