Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Lorrie Moore's How to Become a Writer. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
How to Become a Writer: Introduction
How to Become a Writer: Plot Summary
How to Become a Writer: Detailed Summary & Analysis
How to Become a Writer: Themes
How to Become a Writer: Quotes
How to Become a Writer: Characters
How to Become a Writer: Symbols
How to Become a Writer: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Lorrie Moore
Historical Context of How to Become a Writer
Other Books Related to How to Become a Writer
- Full Title: How to Become a Writer
- When Written: 1980–1983
- Where Written: Ithaca, New York
- When Published: 1985
- Literary Period: Contemporary
- Genre: Short Story
- Setting: The story follows Francie through different domestic and academic settings including her childhood home, school, and university.
- Climax: Francie, feeling discouraged in her writing pursuits, decides to apply to law school.
- Antagonist: Francie’s various teachers and peers who attempt to dissuade her from writing
- Point of View: Second Person
Extra Credit for How to Become a Writer
Strict Deadline. When Lorrie Moore was 23 years old, she gave herself a deadline: if she hadn’t published a book by the time she turned 30, she’d give up writing altogether. Though she ended up publishing her first book when she was 28, she now considers that timeline “rather naïve.”
Theater-Struck. As a child, Moore attended the rehearsals of her parents’ amateur theater group and was transfixed when people she knew, like the postman, transformed into singing, dancing characters. She sees those rehearsals as some of the most culturally formative experiences of her early life.