Workshop in Fiction Writing

Open—Year

In this yearlong fiction writing workshop, you will acquaint yourselves with such basic elements of fiction as point of view, character, plot and structure, dialogue and exposition, detail and scene, as well as other more-sophisticated concepts related to the craft and imaginative process of fiction. Principals such as counterpoint characterization, defamiliariazation, and the sublime, among others, are explored through lessons, writing exercises, and assigned readings, as well as through authors’ works that you wish to share with the class. The core of the course is the students’ own development as fiction writers. We have a lot of fun trying numerous exercises and approaches to stories. We work closely in conference on your writing, and each of you will present at least one final developed story for our workshop discussion each semester. You are responsible for critiquing each other’s stories in writing, as well as participating thoughtfully and actively in the workshop discussion. And we will form small groups to more closely discuss the revisions of your stories. In the second semester, we move on to explore dream narratives, quest stories and the hero’s journey, the structures of jokes, and the gifts of graphic fiction. We will study a democratically chosen novel and film and attend readings and craft talks by the guest writers in our reading series.