Fiction Workshop


Our workshop will discuss student work alongside readings in critical theory, psychology, philosophy, structure, style, and form. We will approach ideas such as dream theory, desire as a fictional process, memory and impulse, metaphor and metonymy, and structuralism as inroads to writing fiction rather than leaving them in the realm of the theoretical. We’ll also read fiction from published writers whose work serves a given discussion. Writing exercises will emphasize pulling these ideas together. Though we’re interested in learning about processes of cognition that structure and encourage creativity, we’re far more interested in writing beyond ourselves—fumbling around in the dark at first and approaching a story with all we do not know. As Cynthia Ozick said: “When you write about what you don’t know, this means you begin to think about the world at large. You begin to think beyond the home-thoughts. You enter dream and imagination... It’s our will to enter the world.” Even the most grounded realism needs to enter the reader’s mind like a dream, an unbroken spell. It needs to leave the reader a complete stranger to what they once found familiar. We will combine Ozick’s notion of moving beyond the “home-thoughts” while learning all we can about various literary and theoretical legacies. The class will get to thinking about entering the broader world, writing stories that don’t ever leave their readers.