Methods of Social Fiction
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From Patricia Leavy, a leader in arts-based research, this is the first comprehensive guide to what social fiction is and how to write it. In an engaging, personal tone, Leavy explores the unique contribution that creative writing--such as novels, series, and short stories--can make to addressing qualitative research questions. In-depth discussions of narrative models (such as the three-act structure) and elements (such as plot, metaphor, dialogue) are accompanied by excerpts from Leavy's published fiction, reflections on the writing process, and technical suggestions. The book offers evaluation criteria for social fiction as well as practical publishing advice. Instructive features include "tip bubbles" with additional writing hints, end-of-chapter "Skill-Building" and "Rethink Your Research" exercises, and an appendix with suggested readings.
Table of Contents
1. Writing as Inquiry
2. Historical and Contemporary Context for Social Fiction
3. The Method: How to Write Social Fiction
4. Traditional Three-Act Structures
5. Sequels: More on Traditional Three-Act Structures
6. Series and Open Form Structures
7. Alternative Structures
8. Short Stories
9. Practical Advice for Publishing and Evaluating Social Fiction
Appendix. Recommended Reading
Patricia Leavy, PhD, is an independent sociologist, novelist, and former Chair of Sociology and Criminology and Founding Director of Gender Studies at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts. She is the author, coauthor, or editor of 40 nonfiction and fiction books, which have received numerous awards and have been translated into multiple languages. She has served as the creator and editor of 10 book series and is cofounder of the journal Art/Research International. For her work in the field of research methods, Dr. Leavy has received honors including the Distinguished Service Outside the Profession Award from the National Art Education Association, the New England Sociologist of the Year Award from the New England Sociological Association, the Special Achievement Award from the American Creativity Association, the Significant Contribution to Educational Measurement and Research Methodology Award from Division D of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the Outstanding Achievement in Arts and Learning Award from the Arts and Learning Special Interest Group of the AERA, and the Special Career Award from the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry. The School of Fine and Performing Arts at the State University of New York at New Paltz has established the Patricia Leavy Award for Art and Social Justice in her honor. Dr. Leavy delivers invited lectures and keynote addresses at universities and conferences. Her website is www.patricialeavy.com.
"Everything you need to know to write social fiction is in this book. One of the best-written methods books I have ever read, it is accessible, clear, and detailed. The examples demonstrate the fiction concepts, and the pedagogical elements provide valuable advice and questions to think about in order to get a writing project started."--Sandra L. Faulkner, PhD, School of Media and Communication, Bowling Green State University
"Leavy does a wonderful job of introducing social fiction. The flow and style are confident and easy. There are humorous sections that keep the reader engaged in a way that is often missing in dry academic research methods texts.”—Kenya E. Wolff, PhD, Department of Teacher Education, University of Mississippi
"This book is excellent at explaining both the theory behind fiction as method and the practical 'how-tos' of doing it well. The exemplars from Leavy's own novels are instructive. Leavy's reflections on how she writes—how fiction is structured, what's going on behind the scenes—are so helpful. This book will be especially valuable for students coming from disciplines where fiction is not normally used, but where it could serve to make research accessible to a broader audience. I will use it in my own class."—Jessica Smartt Gullion, PhD, Department of Sociology, Texas Woman’s University
"This text would be great as either a supplemental text or central text for any course exploring truth and fiction. It is especially powerful for thinking about truth in inquiry. This book resonates well with our work through the Feminist Research Collective."--Barbara Dennis, PhD, Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology, Indiana University-